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18 Apr 2006
MOODY'S PLACES THE D- FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING OF FINANSBANK RUSSIA ON REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE; PLACES THE Ba2 DEPOSIT AND SENIOR UNSECURED RATINGS ON REVIEW WITH DIRECTION UNCERTAIN
Action Follows Planned Change in Ownership. Ba2 Rating on Loan Participation Notes Issued by Finans Russia Capital SA and Aa2.ru National Scale Rating also Placed on Review with Direction Uncertain.
Limassol, April 18, 2006 -- Moody's Investors Service has placed the D- financial strength
rating of Finansbank (Russia) Ltd. ("FBR") on review
for possible downgrade. The Ba2 long-term local and foreign
currency deposit ratings, as well as the Ba2 Senior Unsecured rating
on the Loan Participation Notes issued by Finans Russia Capital SA have
been placed on review with direction uncertain. At the same time,
Moody's Interfax Rating Agency has placed FBR's Aa2.ru
National Scale Rating on review with direction uncertain. Moscow-based
Moody's Interfax is majority-owned by Moody's.
Moody's said that the rating actions follow the announcement of a forthcoming
change in FBR's ownership.
The recently announced intended acquisition of Finansbank A.S.
of Turkey (rated B1/NP/D+ and Baa3/P-3 for local currency
deposits by Moody's) by the National Bank of Greece is expected to lead
to a related transaction whereby Fiba Holding -- the current majority
shareholder of Finansbank A.S. -- will purchase from
Finansbank A.S. most of its non-Turkish operations
including 98% of FBR. The Ba2 deposit and bond ratings of
FBR take into account the high likelihood that its current ultimate parent
bank, Finansbank A.S., would extend support
in case of need.
On 6 April 2006, Finansbank (Russia) Ltd. announced that
it has applied to the Dutch Central Bank for the transfer of 51%
of its shares from its current parent -- Netherlands-based
Finans International Holding NV -- to Finansbank (Holland) NV,
which is currently FBR's sister-bank. This transfer,
which can take place only after obtaining the necessary approvals from
both the Dutch and Russian banking authorities, would result in
Finansbank Holland directly owning 51% of FBR's shares.
The decision to place FBR's deposit and bond ratings on review with
direction uncertain reflects the evolving nature of FBR's ownership
structure. The rating review will partially focus on the willingness
and ability of the possible new majority shareholder, Finansbank
Holland, as well as of the ultimate shareholder Fiba Holding AS
-- which is expected to receive USD 2.2 billion from the sale
of its 46% stake in Finansbank AS -- to provide support to
FBR in the event of need. The ratings of Finansbank Holland,
currently Baa2/P-2/C-, were recently placed on review
for possible downgrade in a related action.
Should the necessary regulatory approvals for the transfer of ownership
of FBR be obtained and the share transfer take place, it is likely,
though not certain, that FBR's deposit and bond ratings would
converge toward those of Finansbank Holland, which may or may not
be lower than their current level of Baa2. At the same time,
should the share transfer not take place, the deposit and bond ratings
of FBR will depend on Moody's assessment of FBR's intrinsic
strength and the possibility of any additional sources of external support.
In placing FBR's D- Financial Strength Rating on review for
possible downgrade, Moody's notes that the change in ownership
may have a negative impact on FBR's business model and ability to
raise the necessary capital to support its rapid growth. According
to Moody's, the bank's financial metrics would be more consistent
with those of a bank rated in a slightly lower category within the Russian
operating environment. However, the FSR benefits from the
bank's strong and experienced management team which leverages knowledge
of and expertise in retail and SME banking across many European markets,
including Turkey. The FSR currently benefits from FBR's access
to Finansbank Group's resources and transfer of knowledge and skills,
which represents a significant advantage relative to other Russian banks
of a similar size. Finally, the FSR incorporates FBR's relatively
limited exposure to its controlling shareholder and related companies.
According to Moody's, the rating review will focus on the impact
that the change in ownership and the loss of a large, well-diversified
parent bank will have on these factors that have enhanced the bank's
creditworthiness and FSR until now. At the same time, Moody's
recognizes that the Fiba Group has declared that it remains committed
to supporting FBR's growth, and that the group will retain
a substantial banking presence and expertise in a number of markets,
including Holland, Switzerland, Romania and Russia,
factors that Moody's will evaluate and take into account during
the review. Moody's review will also focus on FBR's
ability to continue to obtain or generate a sufficient level of capital
and funding to support its ambitious growth plans. Finally,
the review will also assess the possible impact of the re-branding
exercise on FBR's growing retail and SME franchises within the Russian
Finansbank (Russia) Ltd., founded in 1997 and headquartered
in Moscow, Russia, had total assets of RUB 14.147 billion
(USD .493 billion) and shareholders` equity of RUB 1.162
billion (USD .040 billion) at 31 December 2005.
The following ratings have been placed on review for possible downgrade:
- Finansbank (Russia) Ltd., Bank Financial Strength
The following ratings have been placed on review with direction uncertain:
- Finansbank (Russia) Ltd., Long Term Foreign Currency
Bank Deposit Rating Ba2
- Finansbank (Russia) Ltd., Long Term Local Currency
Bank Deposit Rating Ba2
- Finansbank (Russia) Ltd., Senior Unsecured Rating
(Loan Participation Notes Issued by Finans Russia Capital SA) Ba2
- Finansbank (Russia) Ltd., National Scale Ratings
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Limited
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Limited
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
No Related Data.
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