MOODY'S ASSIGNS A1/P-1 DEPOSIT RATINGS AND D+ FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING TO DEPFA-BANK EUROPE PLC
London, 04-23-96 -- Moody's Investors Service assigned A1/Prime-1 deposit ratings and a D+ financial strength rating to DePfa-Bank Europe plc (DePfa Europe). Moody's has also assigned an A1 to the senior unsecured Euro medium term notes issued by DePfa Europe. The long-term ratings are largely based on the explicit support of DePfa Europe from its parent institution -- Deutsche Pfandbrief- und Hypothekenbank AG (whose deposit ratings are Aa3/P-1, financial strength rating is C+, and public-sector and mortgage Pfandbrief ratings are Aaa and Aa1, respectively). This support includes a strong public statement of support, as well as a significant capital commitment. The ratings also reflect the fact that DePfa Europe, as a newly created entity, lacks an established business franchise, recognizing also this bank's good financial fundamentals, namely strong capitalization and the low-risk profile of its loan portfolio.
The risk profile of DePfa Europe's loan portfolio is likely to remain low, in view of the bank's focus on crossborder public-sector lending within the European Union and European Economic Area, although such activities are not automatically risk-free. Referring to the bank's business-franchise prospects, Moody's mentioned the tighter competitive environment for public-sector lending throughout Europe -- one in which the well-established national providers of public-sector finance are likely to maintain a clear competitive edge. The rating agency added, nevertheless, that it expects DePfa Europe to maintain good financial fundamentals and a focused business strategy.
DePfa-Bank Europe plc, based in Dublin's International Financial Services Centre, is a wholly-owned bank subsidiary of Deutsche Pfandbrief- und Hypothekenbank AG (Germany's largest specialised privately-incorporated mortgage bank). Consolidated assets reached DM 6.5 billion (US$ 4.4 billion) as of December 31, 1995.
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