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Rating Action:

Moody's Interfax downgrades Russian Standard Bank's ratings to B3.ru; under review for further downgrade

04 Sep 2015

Moscow, September 04, 2015 -- Moody's Interfax Rating Agency has today downgraded to B3.ru from Baa3.ru national scale long-term deposit rating (NSR) of Russian Standard Bank (Russia). The NSR carries no specific outlook. The rating action was driven by (1) Russian Standard Bank's substantial net losses posted in H1 2015 and anticipated until year-end 2015, which reflect its weak net interest income and high provisioning charges against growing problem loans; and (2) the depletion of the bank's capital base.

Moody's assessment of Russian Standard Bank's rating is largely based on the issuer's unaudited financial statements for the first half of 2015, prepared under IFRS, its audited IFRS financial statements for 2014 as well as information received from the bank.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on moodys.com for information on Global Scale Rating.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade reflects Russian Standard Bank's weak net interest income and high provisioning charges against growing problem loans, combined with the substantial weakening of its capital metrics.

In H1 2015, the bank reported a substantial decline in its profitability metrics, with annualized return on average assets of -11.1% (year-end 2014: -4.0%). This decline was driven by elevated provisioning charges, as the bank's annualized cost of risk grew to 26.2% in H1 2015 compared to 17.0% in 2014 (year-end 2013: 10.0%) following a substantial deterioration in asset quality and shrinkage of the loan book due to deleveraging.

The bank's significant net losses also resulted from a decline in its core profitability, as reflected in a decrease of annualized net interest margin to 3.3% of as at H1 2015 (YE 2014: 10.2%, YE 2013: 13.4%). These adverse developments are explained by (1) high cost of funding in H1 2015 caused by market volatility in late 2014 -- beginning 2015 (as the Central Bank of Russia's key rate increased from 5.5% to 17% in 2014); and (2) decreasing interest income due to the bank's shrinking loan book and increasing proportion of problem loans.

As the consumer market and household incomes remain subdued, Moody's does not expect any improvements in the operating environment, which implies continued high loan loss provisions by the bank during the remainder of 2015. Nevertheless, Moody's expects that Russian Standard Bank's problem loans will not grow materially over next 12 months, reflecting tightened underwriting standards since H2 2014, which will help to contain the bank's provisioning charges and potentially result in lower net losses in H2 2015.

Losses recorded by the bank in 1H 2015 caused the bank's capital metrics to erode. Its Basel capital adequacy ratio (CAR) declined to virtually zero in H1 2015, according to Moody's estimates. Moody's notes, however, that the bank's regulatory capital adequacy ratio, which still stood at above 16% as of H1 2015, provides some comfort with regard to the bank's ability to maintain its operations in the short term. Moreover, in August 2015, the shareholder provided a RUB9.35 billion capital injection, and another RUB5 billion will likely be provided by the Russian government in the short term. Nevertheless, based on available information, the rating agency expects that the bank will not be able to improve its Basel capital adequacy to sufficiently sustainable level over the next few months and will require additional capital support either from the shareholder or other external sources, including the government.

The challenges stemming from the bank's weak capital position and asset quality are partially mitigated by Russian Standard Bank's adequate liquidity. Its liquid assets-to-total assets ratio was around 36% as of H1 2015 (or 21% after the deduction of securities pledged under repo operations).

FOCUS OF REVIEW

Moody's review will focus on the bank's capacity to replenish its capital by obtaining additional capital either from the shareholder or from other external sources.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Given that Russian Standard Bank's ratings are under review for further downgrade, there is no upward pressure on the bank's ratings. The capital increase to more sustainable levels might lead to confirmation of the bank's ratings.

If Russian Standard Bank will be unable to recover its capital position, this could result in a downgrade of the bank's ratings.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in this rating was Banks published in March 2015. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, Russian Standard Bank reported total assets of RUB411 billion (around $7.7 billion) and a net loss of RUB15.9 billion (around $300 million) at year-end 2014, according to audited IFRS figures. Retail loans comprise the bulk of Russian Standard Bank's total loans, with credit card loans and unsecured consumer loans (cash and point-of-sale loans) dominating the loan book (67% and 21% of the total, respectively, according to audited IFRS as of year-end 2014).

Moody's Interfax Rating Agency's National Scale Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".ru" for Russia. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale ratings, please refer to Moody's Rating Methodology published in June 2014 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings".

ABOUT MOODY'S AND MOODY'S INTERFAX

Moody's Interfax Credit rating Agency (MIRA) specializes in credit risk analysis in Russia. MIRA is a joint-venture between Moody's Investors Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research and analysis covering debt instruments and securities in the global capital markets, and the Interfax Information Services Group. Moody's Investors Service is a subsidiary of Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO).

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The following information supplements Disclosure 10 ("Information Relating to Conflicts of Interest as required by Paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(J) of SEC Rule 17g-7") in the regulatory disclosures made at the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for each credit rating:

Moody's was not paid for services other than determining a credit rating in the most recently ended fiscal year by the person that paid Moody's to determine this credit rating.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Alexander Proklov
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Interfax Rating Agency
7th floor, Four Winds Plaza
21 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya St.
Moscow 125047
Russia
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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

Releasing Office:
Moody's Interfax Rating Agency
7th floor, Four Winds Plaza
21 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya St.
Moscow 125047
Russia
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Interfax downgrades Russian Standard Bank's ratings to B3.ru; under review for further downgrade
No Related Data.
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