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Rating Action:


31 Jul 1996
MOODY'S CONFIRMS LONG-TERM RATINGS OF CARIPLO AT A1 London, 7/31/1996 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed at A1 the long-term deposit and debt ratings of Cariplo SpA. These rating actions conclude the review initiated on 1 May 1996, and follow Moody's upgrade of the sovereign rating of the Republic of Italy to Aa3. Cariplo's B financial strength rating and Prime-1 short-term deposit ratings were not under review and were confirmed. Moody's said that the ratings are based on Cariplo's position as one of the leading savings banks in Europe and one of the largest retail banking groups in Italy, as well as its sound financial profile. The existing ratings also take account of the group's deteriorating asset quality, modest profitability, and of the intensifying competition in the Italian banking market.
Cariplo is the third largest Italian banking group by assets and has roughly 1,350 outlets in Italy. Its leading position is underpinned by its dominant franchise within Lombardy, the largest banking market in Italy, where roughly one third of its outlets are located. For some years Cariplo's strategy has been to expand domestically by taking stakes in regional savings banks (casse di risparmio) throughout Italy, notably in the economically stressed South. Moody's said that in the longer-term this strategy may yield some competitive benefits, but that the extension of its franchise in Southern Italy has impaired group asset quality and profitability.
The rating agency noted that the charitable foundation which controls 100% of the share capital of Cariplo has announced its intention gradually to sell part of its shareholding. Moody's said that while this project introduces an element of potential uncertainty, Cariplo's creditworthiness remains underpinned by the quality of its domestic franchise and its good capitalization.
The following ratings were confirmed:
Cariplo SpA -- the A1 ratings of the bank for long-term deposits and senior debt.
Cariplo (Caymans) -- the A1 senior long-term debt rating.
Cariplo (Hong Kong) -- the A1 senior long-term debt rating.
Cariplo (London) -- the A1 senior long-term debt rating.
The following ratings were not under review and were confirmed:
Cariplo SpA -- the Prime-1 ratings for short-term deposits and the B financial strength rating.
Cariplo Finance, Inc. -- the Prime-1 rating for commercial paper.
Cariplo SpA is headquartered in Milan and had total assets at 31 December 1995 of Lit186 trillion (approximately US$124 billion).

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