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Rating Action:

MOODY'S REVIEWS FOR POSSIBLE UPGRADE BANCA INTESA'S A2 LONG-TERM DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS AND C BANK FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING; CONFIRMS BANCA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA AND CARIPLO AT A1/P-1/C+ WITH POSITIVE OUTLOOKS

06 Jul 1999
MOODY'S REVIEWS FOR POSSIBLE UPGRADE BANCA INTESA'S A2 LONG-TERM DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS AND C BANK FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING; CONFIRMS BANCA COMMERCIALE ITALIANA AND CARIPLO AT A1/P-1/C+ WITH POSITIVE OUTLOOKS Moody's placed on review for possible upgrade the A2 long-term debt and deposit ratings, A3 subordinated debt rating and C bank financial strength rating of Banca Intesa following the announcement of the proposed merger with Banca Commerciale Italiana (BCI), and also reflecting the improved financial fundamentals of Banca Intesa since the merger with Cariplo. The A1/Prime-1/C+ ratings of Cariplo and Banca Commerciale Italiana were confirmed, and their outlook changed from stable to positive.

The proposed merger would create Italy's largest banking group, with a nationwide franchise, strongest in the affluent regions of northern Italy, and with a wide client base ranging from retail to large corporates. The merger, which Moody's said it views positively, gives rise to opportunities to improve cost efficiency, through rationalisation of the group's infrastructure, as well as revenue synergies, through combining the complementary customer bases and product ranges of the two banking groups. The proposed merger would combine BCI's corporate and international activities with the Intesa group's strong position in retail banking, including the rapidly growing Italian asset management market.

The offer, which is for up to 70% of the share capital of BCI, is structured as a share swap, and is conditional on at least 50% acceptance, and formal shareholder and regulatory approvals. The proposal is for the Intesa group to retain its federated structure, with BCI remaining a separate legal entity, and Banca Intesa continuing to act as holding company for the various group banks.

Moody's said that the review will focus on the structure of the proposed merger, and on post-merger strategies. The rating agency added that it will particularly focus on the extent to which these post-merger strategies will address challenging issues such as optimising the new group structure, in order to draw on the particular strengths of the group's banks, as well as on cost efficiency.

The following ratings were placed under review for possible upgrade:

Banca Intesa: long-term deposits and long-term debt at A2; issuer rating at A2; bank financial strength at C; subordinated debt at A3

Ambroveneto International Bank Ltd; Backed subordinated debt at Baa1

Intesa Preferred Capital Company LLC at "baa1"

Intesa Preferred Capital Company LLC II at "baa1"

Intesa Preferred Securities Investment Trust II at "baa1"

The following ratings were confirmed:

Cariplo SpA: long-term deposits and long-term debt at A1; bank financial strength at C+

Caripo (Caymans): senior debt at A1

Cariplo London: long-term deposits and long-term debt at A1

Cariplo Finance Inc: Commrcial Paper at Prime-1

Banca Commerciale Italiana SpA: long-term deposits and long-term debt at A1; bank financial strength at C+; subordinated debt at A2; issuer rating at A1

Banca Commerciale Italiana (New York): long-term deposits at A1; subordinated long-term deposits at A2

Banca Commerciale Italiana (UK): subordinated long-term deposits at A2

Banca Commerciale Italiana (Jersey) Ltd: backed subordianted debt at A2

BCI Funding Corporation: commercial paper at Prime-1

BCI US Funding Trust I: Backed preferred stock at "a3"

BCI US Funding Trust II: Backed preferred stock at "a3"

BCI US Funding Trust III: Backed preferred stock at "a3"

Banca Intesa is headquartered in Milan, Italy. At 31st December 1998 it had total assets of Lit 296 trillion (approximately EUR 153 billion or USD 160 billion).


No Related Data.
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