MOODY'S CONFIRMS ARGENTINE BANKS' Ba3 FOREIGN-CURRENCY DEBT AND B1 FOREIGN-CURRENCY DEPOSIT RATINGS WITH A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK
Moody's Investors Service has confirmed the Ba3 foreign-currency ratings of Argentine commercial banks for bonds and notes and the B1 foreign-currency ratings of Argentine banks for deposits. At the same time, the rating agency indicated that the foreign-currency ratings of Argentine banks maintain a negative outlook. This action is a result of Moody's confirmation of the Republic of Argentina's Ba3 foreign-currency country ceiling for bonds and notes as well as the B1 country ceiling for deposits with a negative outlook.
Moody's noted that the review was originally prompted by concerns related to global financial turmoil and its implications for highly indebted countries like Argentina. The rating agency also indicated that the review process explicitly incorporated the potential real and financial impacts of recent events in Brazil, as well as the medium term consequences of an extended period of low commodity prices which could curtail Argentina's export prospects in the coming years.
If capital market access remains restricted for an extended period of time, or if Argentine access becomes more restricted and/or if the negative effects of low commodity prices are worse than presently anticipated, Argentina's ability to meet its external debt payments on a timely basis could be damaged. These concerns led Moody's to maintain a negative outlook on the ratings.
A separate press release concerning the foreign-currency country ceilings of the Republic of Argentina is being issued simultaneously.
The following ratings have been confirmed with a negative outlook:
Banco Rio de la Plata S.A. -- Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A. - - Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Banco Frances S.A. -- Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
HSBC Banco Roberts S.A. -- Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Citibank N.A. (Argentina Branch) -- Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Banco Hipotecario S.A. -- Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Banco Quilmes S.A. - Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Banco Bansud S.A. -- Ba3/B1 for foreign-currency debt/deposits;
Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires -- B1 for foreign-currency debt and deposits;
BankBoston N.A. (Argentina Branch) -- B1 for foreign-currency deposits;
Banco de la Nacion Argentina -- B1 for foreign-currency deposits; and,
Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires -- B1 for foreign-currency deposits
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