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Rating Action:

CORRECTION: MOODY'S REVIEWS FOREIGN CURRENCY BOND RATINGS OF 38 ISSUERS, REFLECTING CHANGE IN COUNTRY CEILING APPROACH (BANCO ITAU S.A. RATINGS EXCULDED FROM REVIEW; SAFRA LEASING RATINGS INCLUDED IN REVIEW)

07 Jun 2001
CORRECTION: MOODY'S REVIEWS FOREIGN CURRENCY BOND RATINGS OF 38 ISSUERS, REFLECTING CHANGE IN COUNTRY CEILING APPROACH (BANCO ITAU S.A. RATINGS EXCULDED FROM REVIEW; SAFRA LEASING RATINGS INCLUDED IN REVIEW) New York, June 07, 2001 -- Moody's Investors Service today placed the long-term foreign currency bonds and notes of 38 issuers on review for upgrade. The reviews are the result of a change in the rating agency's long-standing approach to rating the foreign currency bonds of debt issuers that will now permit ratings of bonds and notes of some issuers to exceed their country ceilings.

The ratings under review for upgrade include the foreign currency bonds and notes of energy companies, financial institutions, and telecommunications companies in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. (A complete list of issuers and their current ratings appears at the end of this release.)

The rating agency says that additional entities may be placed on review for upgrade over the next several months.

"This shift in our analytic approach is a response to recent experience with respect to transfer risk," said Christopher T. Mahoney, Moody's group managing director for Banking and Sovereign Risk, in announcing the reviews for upgrade.

"Over the past few years, the behavior of governments in default has suggested that they may now have good reasons to allow foreign currency payments on some favored classes of obligors or obligations, especially if an entity's default would inflict substantial damage on the country's economy," he says.

In a Rating Methodology also released today detailing the analytic rationale for Moody's modified country ceiling practices, David H. Levey and Vincent J. Truglia, the co-heads of Moody's Sovereign Risk Unit, emphasize that the ability of a borrower to exceed the ceiling of its country of domicile will hinge on three factors.

These factors are (1) the creditworthiness of the issuer (including external support mechanisms); (2) the probability that there would not be a generalized moratorium in the event of default by the government in question on its own foreign currency obligations; and (3) the special circumstances of the borrower in terms of access to foreign exchange.

The complete Rating Methodology is available on Moody's website, www.moodys.com.

Levey says that the ability of an issuer to service foreign currency bonds through a crisis within its country could be demonstrated by "its access to foreign currency through large-scale export activities, foreign ownership, or access to other sources of external support; integration into global production and supply networks; its importance to the national economy; and substantial foreign assets."

Truglia adds that "the government's rating for foreign currency obligations will continue to serve as the ceiling for the vast majority of issuers around the world, because it appropriately captures the likelihood that a government might limit foreign currency outflows including debt payments in the event of an external payments crisis."

"But it is also our view that empirical evidence - as shown in the defaults of Pakistan, Ukraine, and most importantly, Ecuador - indicates that the risk of a government resorting to such an action has declined," he says.

LIST OF RATINGS UNDER REVIEW FOR UPGRADE
The foreign currency bonds and notes of the following issuers are on review for upgrade:

ARGENTINA
Telefonica de Argentina S.A., current rating B2, on review for upgrade
YPF S.A., current rating B2, on review for upgrade

BRAZIL
Banco ABN Amro Real S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco AGF Braseg S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Barclays e Galicia S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Brasil S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Bradesco S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Citibank S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco de Investimentos CSFB Garantia; current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco do Brasil S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Itau S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade ( EXCLUDED FROM REVIEW)
Banco Sudameris Brasil, S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
BankBoston Banco Multiplo S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Lloyds Bank Plc (Brasil), current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Unibanco-Uniao de Banc. Bras, current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Safra S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Banco Votorantim S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Safra Leasing SA Arrendamento Mercantil (INCLUDED IN REVIEW)

CHILE
Banco Santiago, current rating Baa1, on review for upgrade
Banco del Estado de Chile, current rating Baa1, on review for upgrade
Banco Sud Americano, current rating Baa1, on review for upgrade

ESTONIA
AS Hansapank, current rating Baa1, on review for upgrade

HONG KONG
Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Corp., current rating A3, on review for upgrade

INDIA
ICICI Ltd., current rating Ba2, on review for upgrade

LATVIA
Latvijas Unibanka, current rating Baa2, on review for upgrade

LEBANON
Banque Audi, current rating B1, on review for upgrade
Byblos Bank, current rating B1, on review for upgrade
BLOM Bank, current rating B1, on review for upgrade

MALAYSIA
Petroliam Nasional Berhad, current rating Baa2, on review for upgrade

MEXICO
Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. (BANAMEX), current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade
Banco Santander Mexicano, S.A., current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade
BBVA - Bancomer, S.A., current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade
Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A. de C.V., current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade
Petroleos Mexicanos, current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade
Telefonos de Mexico, S.A., current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade

SOUTH AFRICA
Telkom SA Ltd., current rating Baa3, on review for upgrade

TURKEY
Turkiye Vakiflar Bankasi TAO , current rating B1, on review for upgrade

VENEZUELA
Bariven S.A. (guaranteed by PDVSA), current rating B2, on review for upgrade

***********************************************************************
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