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Announcement:

Moody's: Hungary's banking system outlook remains negative

05 Aug 2013

London, 05 August 2013 -- The outlook for the Hungarian banking system remains negative, says Moody's Investors Service in a new report published today. The outlook, which has been negative since June 2009, reflects Moody's expectations of continued downside risks for Hungarian banks from the weak operating environment, which will result in pressures on asset quality and capitalisation. The banks also continue to be heavily exposed to wholesale and foreign-currency (FX) funding, as well as parental support constraints in a system that is predominantly foreign-owned.

The new report: "Banking System Outlook: Hungary", is now available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release.

Moody's expects Hungarian banks to continue deleveraging their balance sheets over the outlook period, as the challenging operating environment results in subdued supply and demand for credit. Moody's forecasts real GDP growth of just 0.2% in 2013 (2012: -1.7%) owing to weak demand for Hungarian exports and the poor investment climate. In addition, the heavy tax burden will continue to suppress banks' profitability. "Deleveraging and the weak operating environment will limit Hungarian banks' revenue-generating capacity, and we expect system net interest margins to be compressed by declining interest rates and rising problem loans," says Simone Zampa, a Moody's Vice President-Senior Credit Officer, and author of the report.

Moody's notes that weak asset quality and pressure on capitalisation will remain major credit challenges for the Hungarian banking system over the next 12-18 month outlook period. The rating agency also expects continued -- albeit slower -- growth in the problem loans ratio, which stood at 20% at the end of Q1 2013. The deterioration in asset quality will be driven by the weak economy, high unemployment and the sizeable amount of FX loans in the system, which renders the banks' loan books vulnerable to external currency market dynamics. "Against the background, the system-wide aggregate Tier 1 capital ratio stood at 13.5% at year-end 2012, but falls to 10.1% for rated banks under Moody's central scenario," adds Mr Zampa.

Despite continued deleveraging, Hungarian banks' wholesale funding reliance remains high, at about 40% of total funding at year-end 2012. Moody's notes that the banks' funding and liquidity profiles are also highly confidence-sensitive, given the banks' large FX funding needs. In addition, many foreign-owned banks rely on short-term FX funding facilities from their parent banks to fund their FX portfolios, thus exposing them to significant rollover risk in the current challenging funding environment.

The Hungarian banking system is largely foreign-owned (90% of total capital as of end of Q1 2013), mainly by Western European parents, whose willingness and capacity to provide additional liquidity and capital support to local banks may be constrained by challenges in their domestic markets and by the adverse business climate in Hungary.

Subscribers can access this report via this link: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_157063

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

Simone Zampa
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Yves J Lemay
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's: Hungary's banking system outlook remains negative
No Related Data.
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