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Essential Intelligence: Assessments
A Credit Assessment provides an indication of creditworthiness on an unrated entity or proposed financing structure. Credit Assessments are not credit ratings.
It is an indicator of our opinion of creditworthiness that may be expressed in descriptive terms, a broad rating category or with the addition of a plus (+) or minus (-) sign to indicate relative strength within the category.
It reflects our view of the general credit strengths and weaknesses of an issuer, obligor, a proposed financing structure, or elements of such structures.
It may also pertain to limited credit matters or carve out certain elements that would ordinarily be taken into account in a credit rating.
Companies considering a full, interactive ratings analysis may have reservations about the process involved and whether the ultimate result will meet their needs. Some companies might be concerned over the amount of management time involved in a full ratings analysis, the cost and the likelihood of their achieving a rating grade that they perceive "acceptable". A Credit Assessment gives companies the opportunity to examine their credit particulars without committing to the more resource-intensive full rating analysis. The process may help management identify strategic "issues". Moreover, if the Credit Assessment level is acceptable to management, a more detailed, public ratings analysis can be completed.
A Credit Assessment usually represents a point-in-time evaluation (i.e., we generally do not maintain ongoing surveillance or updates of credit assessments), and is confidential. A credit assessment is generally requested by the entity, or the sponsor of an obligation, to be assessed. Credit Assessments are expressed using our traditional credit rating symbols, but in lower case (e.g.,'bbb').