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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Banco Comercial Portugues' B1 deposit and senior debt ratings

23 Jan 2017

Upgrade of standalone BCA to b2 following announcement of capital raising

Madrid, January 23, 2017 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed Banco Comercial Portugues, S.A.'s (BCP) long-term deposit and senior debt ratings at B1, as well as its long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment (CRA) at Ba2(cr). At the same time, the rating agency has upgraded the following ratings: (1) the bank's baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA to b2 from b3; (2) the bank's subordinated programme ratings to (P)B3 from (P)Caa1; and (3) the bank's preference shares to Caa2(hyb) from Caa3(hyb). The outlook on the long-term debt and deposit ratings is stable.

Today's rating action was triggered by the bank's announcement on 9 January 2017 that its board of directors had approved a EUR1.33 billion capital increase which is fully underwritten. In Moody's opinion, this transaction will enable BCP to strengthen its loss absorption capacity in the face of still significant asset quality challenges faced by the bank and to repay the EUR700 million of outstanding contingent convertible securities (CoCos) purchased by the Portuguese government in 2012.

The affirmation of BCP's long-term deposit and senior debt ratings reflects: (1) the upgrade of the standalone BCA to b2 on the back of the announced capital raising; and (2) the outcome of Moody's Advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) Analysis after incorporating into the bank's balance sheet structure the lower protection for senior creditors in light of the near-term redemption of the CoCos.

BCP's short-term deposit ratings of Not Prime, its short-term programme ratings at (P)Not Prime and its short-term CRA of Not Prime(cr) are unaffected by today's rating action.

A full list of affected ratings can be found at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

-- RATIONALE FOR UPGRADING THE BCA

The upgrade of BCP's BCA to b2 from b3 reflects the bank's announcement on 9 January 2017 a fully underwritten capital increase of EUR1.33 billion and Moody's views that this transaction enhances the bank's risk-absorption capacity against its still very weak asset risk profile.

BCP will issue 14,169,365,580 new shares at a price of €0.0940 per share, which will increase the bank's share capital to €5.60 billion from €4.27 billion and Moody's adjusted Tangible Common Equity (TCE) to Risk-Weighted Assets ratio to an estimated 9%.

Since the public recapitalisation in 2012 with EUR3 billion of CoCos purchased by the Portuguese government, BCP has been able to strengthen its capital base mainly through continued deleveraging and tapping the markets to raise capital. The announced transaction will enable the bank to repay the remaining EUR700 million of CoCos before the mid-2017 deadline, as well as to enhance its solvency levels despite the large losses booked in the first nine months of 2016 owing to a significant extraordinary provisioning effort.

From a regulatory perspective, this transaction and the full repayment of CoCos will result into a pro-forma phased-in common equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 14.1% and a fully loaded CET1 ratio of 11.4% at end-September 2016, according to the bank's estimates. As of that date, BCP reported a phased-in CET1 ratio of 12.2% and a fully loaded CET1 ratio of 9.5%.

The redemption of the outstanding EUR700 million CoCos is also positive for BCP's profitability, given the very high cost of these instruments (EUR61 million pre-tax interests per year). Moody's expects the bank's profitability metrics to improve in 2017, with both Portugal and the international operations positively contributing to the group's bottom line result, although the rating agency believes that the bank's recurring earnings will continue to be challenged by the very low interest rate environment and subdued business volumes.

Despite the above-mentioned improvements, Moody's notes that BCP's asset risk profile remains very weak. The stock of problematic exposures, albeit stabilising, is very high and will continue to challenge the bank's credit profile. According to the criteria of the European Banking Authority (EBA), BCP had a ratio of non-performing exposures (NPEs) of 20.1% at end-June 2016 (latest available data), significantly above the reported credit at risk ratio of 11.9%. BCP's problematic assets (measured as NPEs and foreclosed real estate assets) ratio stood at 22.5% as of the same date, indicating the existing balance-sheet pressure the bank is facing.

Overall, Moody's views that BCP's risk-absorption capacity is still modest, as evidenced by the ratio of problematic exposures as a percentage of loss-absorbing balance sheet cushions (shareholder's equity, loan loss reserves and real estate reserves), which stood at a pro-forma 113% at end-June 2016, including the announced capital increase.

-- RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMING THE LONG-TERM DEPOSIT AND SENIOR DEBT RATINGS WITH A STABLE OUTLOOK

The affirmation of BCP's long-term deposit and senior debt ratings at B1 reflects: (1) the upgrade of the bank's BCA and adjusted BCA to b2 from b3; (2) no uplift from Moody's Advanced LGF analysis; and (3) Moody's assessment of moderate probability of government support for BCP, which results in an unchanged one notch of uplift for both the deposit and the senior debt ratings.

Taking account of the bank's balance sheet structure at end-June 2016 and its near term funding plan, the rating agency's LGF Analysis indicates that the bank's deposits and senior debt are likely to face a moderate loss-given failure, due to the loss absorption provided by subordinated debt, as well as the volume of deposits and senior debt themselves. This results in a Preliminary Rating Assessment (PRA) of b2 for deposits and senior debt, at the same level as the BCA. This is lower than under the previous analysis, which was based on data as of end-December 2015 and resulted in a one notch uplift from the BCA, mainly because of the expected redemption of €750 million CoCos since June 2016, which has reduced the loss absorption for deposits and senior debt liabilities issued by the bank.

Moody's has maintained its expectation of government support for BCP's deposits and senior instruments at moderate in line with the rating agency's view of its domestic systemic importance. This results into a one-notch of uplift from the bank's b2 PRA.

The stable outlook on the long-term deposit and senior debt ratings of BCP reflects Moody's views that the bank's credit profile will be resilient despite the continued challenges stemming from Portugal's persistently weak operating environment.

-- RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMING THE CR ASSESSMENT

As part of today's rating action, Moody's has also affirmed the CR Assessment of BCP at Ba2(cr), three notches above the adjusted BCA of b2.

The CR Assessment is driven by the banks' adjusted BCA and by the cushion against default provided to the senior obligations represented by the CR Assessment by subordinated instruments amounting to 12% of tangible banking assets. The CR Assessment also benefits from a moderate probability of government support, in line with Moody's support assumptions on deposits and senior debt. However, this support doesn't result in any uplift for the bank's CR assessment, from the previous one-notch uplift.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Upward pressure on BCP's BCA could be driven by: (1) stronger TCE levels; (2) a material improvement in its asset risk metrics - on absolute and relative terms when compared to the bank's loss-absorbing balance-sheet cushions; and (3) a sustainable recovery in the bank's recurring earnings. As the bank's debt and deposit ratings are linked to the standalone BCA, any change to the BCA would likely also affect these ratings.

BCP's deposit and senior debt ratings could also change due to movements in the loss-given failure faced by these securities.

Downward pressure on the bank's BCA could develop as a result of: (1) a reversal in current asset risk trends with an increase in the stock of nonperforming loans (NPLs) and/or other problematic exposures; and (2) a weakening of BCP's risk-absorption capacity. As the bank's debt and deposit ratings are linked to the standalone BCA, any change to the BCA would likely also affect these ratings.

BCP's deposit and senior debt ratings could also change due to movements in the loss-given failure faced by these securities.

In addition, any changes to our considerations of government support could trigger downward pressure on the bank's deposit and debt ratings.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Banco Comercial Portugues, S.A.

..Upgrades:

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, upgraded to (P)B3 from (P)Caa1

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, upgraded to Caa2(hyb) from Caa3(hyb)

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to b2 from b3

....Baseline Credit Assessment, upgraded to b2 from b3

..Affirmations:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed Ba2(cr)

....Long-term Deposit Ratings, affirmed B1 Stable

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, affirmed B1, outlook changed to Stable from Negative

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, affirmed (P)B1

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Stable from Stable(m)

Issuer: BCP Finance Bank, Ltd.

..Upgrade:

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, upgraded to (P)B3 from (P)Caa1

..Affirmations:

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, affirmed (P)B1

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, affirmed B1, outlook changed to Stable from Negative

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: BCP Finance Company

..Upgrades:

....Backed Subordinate Shelf, upgraded to (P)B3 from (P)Caa1

....Backed Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, upgraded to Caa2(hyb) from Caa3(hyb)

..Outlook Action:

....No Outlook assigned

Issuer: Banco Comercial Portugues, SA, Macao Br

..Affirmations:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed Ba2(cr)

....Long-term Deposit Rating, affirmed B1 Stable

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains Stable

Issuer: Banco Comercial Portugues, SA, Madeira

..Affirmation:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed Ba2(cr)

..Outlook Action:

....No Outlook assigned

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit 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.

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.

Maria Vinuela
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Calle Principe de Vergara, 131, 6 Planta
Madrid 28002
Spain
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Calle Principe de Vergara, 131, 6 Planta
Madrid 28002
Spain
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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