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09 Jan 1998
MOODY'S UPGRADES THE LONG- AND SHORT-TERM RATINGS OF NATEXIS S.A. (SENIOR AT A2), NATEXIS BANQUE S.A (A2/PRIME-1) AND THEIR GUARANTEED AFFILIATES
London, 01-09-98 -- Moody's Investors Service has raised the ratings of Natexis Banque S.A. and Natexis S.A., the holding company of the bank, for long- and short-term deposits and senior obligations to A2/Prime-1. The bank's financial strength rating remains unchanged at D+. The ratings of both entities' senior long-term debt guaranteed by the Republic of France were not under review and remain unchanged at Aaa.
This rating action concludes a review for possible upgrade prompted by the announcement on 8 October 1997 that the Caisse Centrale des Banques Populaires – CCBP – (rated Aa3/Prime-1), the central bank and main funding vehicle of the Banques Populaires group, had agreed to acquire a 23.35% stake in Natexis S.A.
The entry of the Banques Populaires group into its capital provides the Natexis group with a stronger ownership structure and improves its creditworthiness. The Banques Populaires now effectively control the Natexis group as evidenced by their significant representation on the Board of Natexis S.A and the fact that they will fully consolidate Natexis in their statutory accounts. The Banques Populaires have also made public their commitment to regulators to protect the interests of Natexis depositors and counterparties.
In addition to improving Natexis's capital position, this development has positive implications in terms of both the group's liquidity and earnings power. Natexis will gain access to the Banques Populaires group's broad and stable base of retail deposit funds, which will enhance its liquidity position and reduce its dependence on wholesale funding. In addition, the large financial resources enjoyed by the Banques Populaires group should boost Natexis's commercial capacity and free it from its present capital-related constraints on business volumes and flows.
Moody's also recognizes the business logic of the new partnership. First, the fact that the two institutions are broadly active across different client segments and products means that overlaps and competition between the groups are limited. This situation should facilitate their integration although they must coordinate their capital markets and corporate finance activities. Making use of the Banques Populaires group's nationwide network should notably support the development of Natexis's activities with medium-sized companies and its cash management business. Natexis should also benefit from the Banques Populaires group's know-how in the areas of investment and employee savings management, and custody.
Nevertheless, the expected financial benefits of Natexis's new partnership with the Banques Populaires should only materialize over time, in part due to the fact that the current shareholding structure prevents a full integration of the two banking groups. The success of the partnership is also contingent on improving economic conditions. As a result, Moody's confirmed the bank financial strength rating of Natexis at D+.
The following ratings were raised:
Natexis Banque S.A. – the long-term deposit rating at A2 from A3 and the short-term deposit rating at Prime-1 from Prime-2, the senior debt rating at A2 from A3, the subordinated debt rating at A3 from Baa1, the junior subordinated debt rating at Baa1 from Baa2, and the counterparty rating at A2 from A3;
Natexis S.A. – the rating of the senior debt guaranteed by Natexis Banque S.A. at A2 from A3, the rating of the subordinated debt guaranteed by Natexis Banque S.A. at A3 from Baa1, the rating of the junior subordinated debt guaranteed by Natexis Banque S.A. at Baa1 from Baa2, and the counterparty rating at A2 from Baa1;
Interfinance Natexis N.V. (formerly Interfinance Cr‚dit National N.V.) – the rating of the senior debt jointly guaranteed by Natexis S.A. and Natexis Banque S.A. at A2 from A3 and the rating of the commercial paper jointly guaranteed by Natexis S.A. and Natexis Banque S.A. at Prime-1 from Prime-2;
BFCE US Corp. – the rating of the commercial paper guaranteed by Natexis Banque S.A. at Prime-1 from Prime-2.
The following rating remained unchanged:
Natexis Banque S.A. – the bank financial strength rating at D+.
The ratings of the senior long-term debt of both entities' debt obligations guaranteed by the Republic of France were not under review and are confirmed at Aaa.
The Natexis group, headquartered in Paris, had consolidated assets of FRF303 billion (approximately US$58 billion) at June 30, 1997.
No Related Data.
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