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Essential Intelligence: Special Purpose

Counterparty Instrument Ratings

A forward-looking opinion of an issuer’s creditworthiness

An S&P Global Ratings Counterparty Instrument Rating (CIR) is a forward-looking opinion about the creditworthiness of an issuer in a securitization structure with respect to a specific financial obligation to a counterparty (including interest rate swaps, currency swaps, and liquidity facilities) on an ultimate payment basis. It takes into consideration the creditworthiness of guarantors, insurers, or other forms of credit enhancement on the financial obligation to a counterparty and takes into account the currency in which the financial obligation is denominated.

The opinion reflects S&P Global Ratings' view of the issuer's capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments as funds become available, and may assess terms, such as collateral security and subordination, which could affect ultimate payment in the event of default.

A CIR is specific to the financial obligations that securitization special-purpose entities enter into with banks or any other entity taking on the issuer's credit risk under a contract such as a swap or liquidity facility (a "counterparty").

Capital reserve requirements for high-yield asset classes can constrain insurers’ investment management practices.

The CIR addresses an issuer's capacity to meet its financial obligations to a counterparty in a securitization transaction on an ultimate payment basis as funds become available, without regard to any specific repayment date that may be stated in the terms of the contract.

  • Each CIR is specific to a particular issuer's financial obligation under a specific counterparty contract in relation to a securitization transaction. For example, we could assign a CIR of 'AAcir' to Issuer ABC's obligations under the interest rate swap with Bank XYZ. 
  • The CIR may be either a public, private or confidential rating. The CIR could be assigned with surveillance or could be point-in-time with no surveillance. Furthermore, the CIR may be a local or foreign currency rating, depending on the underlying structure.
  • This opinion does not take into account timeliness of payment. As such, CIRs are long-term ratings only.
  • The CIR is a new rating type with its own ratings definitions. CIRs are identified by the 'cir' suffix to distinguish the CIR from an S&P Global Ratings issue or issuer credit rating. We will assign the 'sf' identifier where necessary.

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