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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS A2/P-1/C+ RATINGS OF COMMERZBANK AND EUROHYPO AND THEIR STABLE OUTLOOKS

16 Nov 2005
MOODY'S CONFIRMS A2/P-1/C+ RATINGS OF COMMERZBANK AND EUROHYPO AND THEIR STABLE OUTLOOKS

Following the announcement of Commerzbank's plan to acquire from Allianz and Deutsche Bank their respective stakes in Eurohypo

London, 16 November 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed the A2/P-1 long- and short-term ratings and the C+ financial strength ratings of Commerzbank AG and Eurohypo AG, respectively, following Commerzbank's announcement that it seeks to buy the stakes which Allianz (28.5%) and Deutsche Bank (37.7%) still hold in Eurohypo. For both banks, the outlook for all ratings remains stable. The ratings for Eurohypo's mortgage and public-sector Pfandbriefe and for the respective subsidiaries of Commerzbank AG and Eurohypo AG are unaffected.

Separately, Moody's added that it did not expect the planned transaction to result in any rating implications for Eurohypo's co-owners, Deutsche Bank (rated Aa3/P-1/B-) and Dresdner Bank (A1/P-1/C-).

After a successful completion of its bid, Commerzbank would hold more than 98% of Eurohypo's capital, including its current stake of 31.8%. Commenting on Commerzbank's intention to take over control of Eurohypo, Moody's indicated that its decision to confirm the respective ratings reflects the potential benefits the proposed combination may offer as much as the challenges inevitably associated with the combination and integration of two banks of this size and complexity. The rating agency said that, if successful, the combined group should benefit from a markedly broader product range, enhanced origination and distribution capabilities and a somewhat more meaningful position in the German market, notably in residential real estate. At the same time, better diversified revenues and assets and a growing proportion of more predictable, less volatile earnings should underpin the positive development both banks have shown in recent quarters in terms of the quality of their assets and earnings. Moody's noted that the sheer size of the new group, with combined assets of about EUR699 billion and risk-weighted assets of approximately EUR229 billion (at the end of September 2005), would increase its importance for the German economy and banking system, reinforcing Commerzbank's focus on its domestic market and possibly giving rise to some, albeit limited, lending concentrations. Moody's cautioned that at a time where a number of domestic competitors are going through a period of transition or clearly have other strategic objectives and financial ambitions, Commerzbank's initiative to act as consolidator in the German market may strengthen its own strategic and commercial position, even though further progress would be necessary in various business segments in order for the bank to reach a level of efficiency and profitability that is more in line with that of international peers.

According to the rating agency, the impact the planned purchase of Allianz and Deutsche Bank's stakes could have on Commerzbank's improving financial profile should be limited and should, by itself, not put undue pressure on the bank's current ratings. Moody's said that it is fully cognizant of the relatively limited volume of cost savings achievable from combining Commerzbank and Eurohypo, and of the challenges the integration of Eurohypo into Commerzbank's treasury and risk controlling may pose. It declared that to the extent that the pricing and financing of the transaction would not materially deviate from Commerzbank's plans, it should instantly prove positive for the new bank's profitability and internal capital generation, although a shift to a markedly higher level of earnings and profitability would probably need time and further investments. Moody's recognized that Commerzbank's capital ratios would temporarily weaken moderately in response to the transaction. In light of the bank's good Tier 1 ratio of 6.7% (incl. market risk) at the end of September 2005 and the fact that it entirely consists of high-quality core capital, Moody's indicated that Commerzbank's financial flexibility was likely remain intact, and underpinned by its commitment of replenishing its capital over the medium term.

Commerzbank is domiciled in Frankfurt, Germany, and had total assets of EUR458.1 billion at the end of September 2005.

Eurohypo is based in Eschborn, Germany, and had total assets of EUR241.2 billion at the end of September 2005.

Deutsche Bank is located in Frankfurt, Germany, and had total assets of EUR971.8 billion at the end of September 2005.

Dresdner Bank is based in Frankfurt, Germany, and had total assets of EUR497.1 billion at the end of June 2005.

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

London
Guido Versondert
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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