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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms CaixaBank's ratings and changes outlook to negative; BPI's deposit and debt ratings placed on review with direction uncertain

20 Apr 2016

Actions follow tender offer announcement

Madrid, April 20, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed the following ratings of CaixaBank, S.A. (CaixaBank): (1) The Baa2 senior debt and Baa2/Prime-2 deposit ratings; (2) the Ba2 subordinated debt ratings; (3) the bank's baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA of ba1; and (4) its Counterparty Risk Assessment (CRA) of Baa1(cr)/Prime-2(cr). The outlook for the long-term senior debt and deposit ratings was changed to negative.

At the same time, Moody's has placed on review with direction uncertain the following ratings of Banco BPI S.A. (BPI) and its supported entities: (1) The Ba3 long-term senior debt and deposit ratings; (2) the B2 subordinated debt ratings; (3) the (P)B3 junior subordinated programme ratings; (4) the backed Caa1(hyb) preference shares; (5) the bank's adjusted baseline credit assessment (BCA) of b1; and (6) its long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment (CRA) of Ba2(cr). BPI's BCA of b1 which was placed on review for downgrade on 22 March 2016, its short-term Not Prime deposit and senior debt ratings and short-term Not Prime(cr) CRA were not affected and remain unchanged.

The rating actions were triggered by CaixaBank's announcement on 18 April 2016 to launch a public tender offer for the acquisition of BPI's not-yet-owned share capital (CaixaBank currently holds a 44.1% stake in BPI), and Moody's assessment of the negative impact the deal could have on CaixaBank's solvency and credit risk profile. The review with direction uncertain of BPI's debt and deposit ratings indicates different rating pressures which are dependent on the closing of CaixaBank's tender offer for BPI. Moody's considers that BPI's senior creditors could benefit from CaixaBank's affiliate support following the successful completion of the tender offer therefore mitigating the risks emerging from the bank's weak standalone credit profile, which remains on review for downgrade. However, if the tender offer fails to succeed, BPI's senior creditors could be negatively impacted by the ongoing pressures on its financial profile.

The rating action on BPI extends the period for reviewing the bank's ratings which was opened on 22 March 2016 (please see https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_345974).

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

RATINGS RATIONALE

-- RATIONALE FOR THE AFFIRMATION WITH A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK ON CAIXABANK'S RATINGS

In affirming CaixaBank's BCA and ratings and assigning negative outlooks to the long-term debt and deposit ratings, Moody's reflects the bank's overall credit profile and its resiliency to a potential acquisition of BPI subject to certain expectations being met, the most relevant being the restoration of the group's solvency metrics post acquisition.

Today's rating action reflects CaixaBank's (total assets of EUR 344.3 billion at end-December 2015) intention to launch a public tender offer for BPI's (total assets of EUR 40.7 billion at end-December 2015) capital and the negative impact it may have on CaixaBank's solvency levels. Depending on the level of acceptance of the tender offer, the effect on CaixaBank's solvency levels could range from 97 to 146 basis points on its fully loaded Common Equity Tier 1 (FL CET1) ratio. The acquisition could thus bring down CaixaBank's FL CET 1 ratio to 10.6%-10.1% from 11.6% reported at end-December 2015. Moody's notes positively CaixaBank's commitment to maintain a FL CET1 ratio of between 11% and 12% post-transaction and the rating agency expects remedial actions by the bank to maintain its committed capital ratios. However, in addition to regulatory capital levels, Moody's will also assess the impact of the announced transaction on Moody's key capital metric, the Tangible Common Equity ratio (TCE), which stoods at 10.9% at end-December 2015 and is already under pressure due to the asset swap agreement with CaixaBank's holding company (Criteria).

The negative outlook also reflects the uncertainty regarding the remedial actions to solve BPI's breach of the regulatory large exposure limits, in relation to its exposure to Angola (Ba2 review for downgrade) and the impact that this situation may have on BPI's credit profile and ultimately on CaixaBank's creditworthiness. This concern triggered the rating action on BPI's ratings published on 22 March 2016.

CaixaBank has requested the suspension of any sanction proceedings for excess risk concentration in Angola to the European Central Bank (ECB) to allow CaixaBank to find a solution for BPI's African operations (for which a demerger plan was presented in 2014 and has failed to be approved on various occasions to date).

The success of this deal is subject not only to pertinent regulatory approvals, but also to meeting the following conditions: (1) Achieving more than a 50% stake in BPI after the offer; and (2) the elimination of the 20% voting cap currently included in BPI's bylaws.

This offer is voluntary, with a price of EUR1.113 per share payable in cash, and is directed to all the outstanding shares of BPI that CaixaBank does not hold.

Moody's will assess the impact on CaixaBank's credit profile of the announced transaction once it will be closed, and it gains visibility on the effective solution of BPI's large exposures in Angola and any capital strengthening measures to be adopted by the bank. Moody's will also focus on BPI's future earning generation capacity which currently is heavily reliant on its Angola operations and income from financial securities against a backdrop of a challenging Portuguese operating environment.

BPI represents 12% of CaixaBank's 2015 total assets and close to 18% of Moody's adjusted risk-weighted assets.

-- RATIONALE FOR THE REVIEW WITH DIRECTION UNCERTAIN OF BPI'S RATINGS

The review with direction uncertain of BPI's ratings reflects the potential upward pressure on BPI's debt and deposit ratings that could stem from the acquisition by CaixaBank. Moody's considers that BPI senior creditors could benefit from CaixaBank's affiliate support following the successful completion of the tender offer, therefore mitigating the risks emerging from the bank's weak standalone credit profile, which remains on review for downgrade. Downward pressure could also develop for BPI's debt and deposit ratings if CaixaBank's fails to take control of BPI's capital.

BPI's standalone b1 BCA remains on review for downgrade, highlighting Moody's view that downside risks to the bank's credit profile stem from the lack of a solution for its large exposures to the Angolan state and the National Bank of Angola. These exposures, standing at EUR 3.6 billion and EUR 1.3 billion, respectively, exceed the limit to large exposures by EUR 3.0 billion and EUR 0.2 billion. The extended review for downgrade of BPI's BCA also highlights the heightened wider risks for the bank following Moody's recent review for downgrade of Angola's Ba2 sovereign bonds rating.

Moody's notes positively that BPI's current corporate governance should improve following the removal of the current voting cap imposed to shareholders which CaixaBank has imposed as a pre-condition for the tender offer to succeed.

- - WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Upward pressure on CaixaBank's ratings is unlikely given the current negative outlook. Downward pressure could materialize if CaixaBank fails to restore its solvency and/or its standalone credit profile weakens as a result of acquiring a smaller but significantly weaker institution.

An upgrade of BPI's debt and deposit ratings could arise if CaixaBank's acquisition materializes and Moody's factors affiliate support into BPI's ratings. Downward pressure on BPI's debt and deposit ratings could develop if the bank's BCA is downgraded and /or the announced tender offer fails to succeed.

BPI's BCA could be downgraded if it fails to achieve a solution to reduce its very large risk exposures to Angola, and/or its standalone credit profile is affected by a worsening of economic conditions in Angola.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Banco BPI S.A.

..Placed on Review Direction Uncertain (previously on Review for Downgrade):

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, currently b1

....Issuer Rating, currently Ba3, outlook Ratings Under Review

....Junior Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B3

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, currently B2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Ba3, outlook Ratings Under Review

....Long-term Deposit Ratings, currently Ba3, outlook Ratings Under Review

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

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains at Ratings Under Review

Issuer: BPI Capital Finance Ltd.

..Placed on Review Direction Uncertain (previously on Review for Downgrade):

....Backed Junior Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B2

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

....Backed Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, currently Caa1 (hyb)

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains at Ratings Under Review

Issuer: Banco BPI Cayman Ltd

..Placed on Review Direction Uncertain (previously on Review for Downgrade):

....Backed Junior Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B2

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains at Ratings Under Review

Issuer: Banco BPI S.A. (Cayman)

..Placed on Review Direction Uncertain (previously on Review for Downgrade):

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

....Junior Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B3

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, currently B2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, currently Ba3, outlook Ratings Under Review

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains at Ratings Under Review

Issuer: Banco BPI S.A. (Madeira)

..Placed on Review Direction Uncertain (previously on Review for Downgrade):

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

....Junior Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B3

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains at Ratings Under Review

Issuer: Banco BPI S.A. (Santa Maria)

..Placed on Review Direction Uncertain (previously on Review for Downgrade):

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

....Junior Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B3

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)B2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains at Ratings Under Review

Issuer: CaixaBank, S.A.

..Affirmations:

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, affirmed ba1

....Baseline Credit Assessment, affirmed ba1

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed P-2(cr)

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed Baa1(cr)

....Issuer Rating, affirmed Baa2, outlook changed to Negative from Stable

....Short-term Deposit Ratings, affirmed P-2

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, affirmed (P)Ba2

....Other Short Term, affirmed (P)P-2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, affirmed (P)Baa2

....Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, affirmed Ba2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, affirmed Baa2, outlook changed to Negative from Stable

....Long-term Deposit Ratings, affirmed Baa2, outlook changed to Negative from Stable

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook changed to Negative from Stable

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.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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 Cabanyes
Senior Vice President
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

Moody's affirms CaixaBank's ratings and changes outlook to negative; BPI's deposit and debt ratings placed on review with direction uncertain
No Related Data.
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