MOODY'S CONFIRMS THE P-1 SHORT-TERM DEPOSIT RATING OF SOGENAL (FRANCE), FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF ITS REORGANIZATION WITHIN SOCIETE GENERALE GROUP; REVIEWS FOR POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE ITS C+ FINANCIAL STRENGTH
Moody's Investors Service confirmed today the Prime-1 short-term deposit rating of Soci‚t‚ Alsacienne de Banque (SOGENAL), and placed under review for possible downgrade its C+ bank financial strength rating. This action follows the announcement of a major restructuring of SOGENAL's activities, whereby the bank's retail banking activities and branch network will be integrated into its parent's, Soci‚t‚ G‚n‚rale. The transfer, aimed at enhancing synergies between SOGENAL and its parent bank, should take place in early 2001.
SOGENAL is a leading regional commercial bank in the economically wealthy French regions of Alsace and Moselle. The group's restructuring plan is for SOGENAL to concentrate on its private banking activities, carried out primarily in nearby Luxembourg. Moody's said that this is a business line in which SOGENAL plays an important role within the Soci‚t‚ G‚n‚rale group.
Commenting its decision, Moody's said that the bank's Prime-1 rating, aside from reflecting SOGENAL's adequate financial fundamentals, is also underpinned by the Soci‚t‚ G‚n‚rale ownership and expected support. Regarding the review of the C+ financial strength rating, Moody's said that the transfer of its retail franchise could significantly affect its business mix and earnings diversification. Moody's added that its review would consider what will be the future business and earnings profile of SOGENAL, as well as its position within Soci‚t‚ G‚n‚rale's global private banking business line.
The following rating was confirmed:
Soci‚t‚ Alsacienne de Banque (SOGENAL) - short-term deposits at Prime-1.
The following rating was placed under review for possible downgrade:
Soci‚t‚ Alsacienne de Banque (SOGENAL) - bank financial strength at C+.
At year-end 1998, Soci‚t‚ Alsacienne de Banque (SOGENAL) had total consolidated assets of ¬16 bn (US$17 bn) and has its headquarters in Strasbourg (France).
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