Anthracite CDOs on Watch For Possible Downgrade

by REIT Wrecks on December 20, 2008

Moody’s went more negative on commercial real estate yesterday, and as a result they went even more negative on below-investment grade CMBS. I have written about the bullseye that is on Anthracite’s (AHR) controlling class chest before, and while AHR is well-managed and still enjoys tangible, substantive support from parent Blackrock, if you’re new to the stock you should read more about Anthracite here before betting the ranch.

Anthracite certainly wasn’t singled out; Moody’s put $109 billion of CRE CDOs on review. But Moody’s did say yet again that CRE CDO deals with collateral concentrations in below-investment-grade CMBS certificates will likely be among the first transactions to be affected by credit issues that are getting worse by the day, and that the additional leverage inherent in those deals creates the potential for higher losses. This is Anthracite’s bread and butter, so any further deterioration in commercial real estate fundamentals will almost certainly translate into a reduced dividend

Not surprisingly, Moody’s also repeated that 2006 through 2008 vintages of CMBS, both fixed and floating rate, will experience even more stress than earlier vintages. These were the go-go years of inflated appraisals, rosy pro-formas that assumed the good times would roll forever and investors who were indifferent to risk. Unfortunately, Anthracite was also ramping up its controlling class purchases at the same time. But why not? They were also issuing CDOs as fast as they could, and they needed a place to stash all that cash.

Specifically, Moody’s put the following Anthracite deals on watch:

Anthracite 2005-HY2 Ltd. Commercial Mortgage-Related Securities, Series 2005-HY2
Anthracite CDO I Ltd.
Anthracite CDO II Ltd.
Anthracite CDO III Collateralized Debt Obligations
Anthracite CRE CDO 2006-HY3, Ltd.

Moody’s expects to complete their review by February of 2009, but there’s no need to wait that long for the results of their analysis: these deals will be downgraded.

Nevermind the fact that 2006-2008 CMBS deals were done with-pie-in-the sky underwriting, even rational, well-underwritten loans will come under stress in this rapidly weakening economy. Any borrower unlucky enough to face loan maturities in 2009 will have a very interesting year. Sitting at the bottom of this heap is Anthracite, and its optimistic/adventurous shareholders need to believe the Company can live up to its name and survive under the pressure.

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Disclosure: None at the time of publication

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