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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CHANGES TO NEGATIVE FROM STABLE THE OUTLOOK FOR HVB'S A3/P-1 RATINGS; ALSO DOWNGRADES TO D+ WITH NEGATIVE OUTLOOK FROM C- HVB's FSR AND TO Baa3 FROM Baa2 HVB'S HYBRID SECURITIES; PFANDBRIEF RATINGS REMAIN UNDER REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE UPGRADE

25 Jan 2005
MOODY'S CHANGES TO NEGATIVE FROM STABLE THE OUTLOOK FOR HVB'S A3/P-1 RATINGS; ALSO DOWNGRADES TO D+ WITH NEGATIVE OUTLOOK FROM C- HVB's FSR AND TO Baa3 FROM Baa2 HVB'S HYBRID SECURITIES; PFANDBRIEF RATINGS REMAIN UNDER REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE UPGRADE

Rating actions follows HVB's announcement late last week of extraordinary provisions of Euro 2.5billion for its real estate exposure

Frankfurt, January 25, 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service downgraded to D+ with a negative outlook from C- the financial strength rating (FSR) of Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank (HVB), and to Baa3 with a negative outlook from Baa2 the ratings of the bank's Hybrid Capital Instruments. HVB's long-term ratings (senior at A3) and Prime-1 short-term ratings were affirmed, and their outlook was changed to negative from stable. The rating outlook was also changed to negative from stable for HVB's guaranteed subsidiaries and HVB Banque Luxembourg's A3/P-1 debt and deposit ratings and C- FSR and Bank Austria Creditanstalt's (BA-CA) A2 long term debt and deposit ratings. BA-CA's B- FSR and P-1 short-term deposit and debt ratings were affirmed with a stable outlook.

HVB's Aa2 public-sector and Aa3 mortgage Pfandbrief ratings remain under review for possible upgrade.

According to Moody's, the rating actions follow HVB's announcement late last week that the bank is bundling its ailing real estate exposures in a new "Real Estate Restructuring" segment for accelerated realisation, to include the change in valuation method for these assets and an extraordinary provision of € 2.5 billion for the financial year 2004.

Moody's said that the FSR downgrade and the negative outlook on the D+ FSR reflect HVB's reduced financial flexibility to absorb unexpected losses in the future, especially in a still difficult economic environment in Germany. The FSR action also reflects the more constrained strategic and operational alternatives for HVB's ongoing efforts to improve the profitability of its domestic activities, which remains low.

The rating agency pointed out that it views positively HVB's efforts to address its asset-quality problems and to take measures to clean up its balance sheet. That said, the level of additional provisions at this time appears surprisingly high, suggesting overly optimistic recovery expectations from the part of the bank. Specifically, HVB had anticipated that its legacy commercial property exposure would demand over time fewer provisions, especially after HVB took steps in recent years to reduce its exposure towards the domestic property market. Against the large amount of provisions, Moody's cited again HVB's persistently low recurring profitability, especially in the German domestic market.

The rating agency went on to say that further negative rating connotations are likely if HVB aims for an unsustainable increase in its risk appetite to boost profits. Such a scenario could affect all ratings, although for its long and short term ratings any downside would be more limited as HVB remains one of Germany's and Europe's major financial institutions, with a stable franchise in retail and commercial banking in Germany -- especially in Bavaria -- and with a strong foothold in Austria and Poland.

Moody's also noted that HVB's Pfandbrief ratings remain under review for possible upgrade, adding that its analysis will focus on the extent to which committed over-collateral enhances the protection cushion for secured creditors.

The following ratings were downgraded:

Bayerische Hypo und Vereinsbank: Financial Strength Rating to D+ from C-.

HVB Funding Trust, HVB Funding Trust II-IV, HVB Funding Trust VI-VIII, Perent Funding: Preferred Stock Ratings to Baa3 from Baa2.

Headquartered in Munich, Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank is Germany's third largest banking group. As of 30 September 2004, the group had consolidated total assets of EUR 460.5billion. HVB Banque Luxembourg SA is headquartered in Luxembourg with total assets of EUR 37.4billion as of 31 December 2003. Bank Austria Creditanstalt is headquartered in Vienna with total assets of EUR 139.9billion as of 30 September 2004.

London
Samuel S. Theodore
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Frankfurt
Michael Dawson-Kropf
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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