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Rating Action:

Moody's announces bank rating actions for Greece resulting from implementation of JDA and BFSR methodologies

24 Apr 2007
Moody's announces bank rating actions for Greece resulting from implementation of JDA and BFSR methodologies

New York, April 24, 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service today published the rating results for banks in Greece as part of the application of its refined joint default analysis (JDA) and updated bank financial strength rating (BFSR) methodologies.

BFSRs evaluate the stand-alone or intrinsic financial strength of banks without reference to external support factors. BFSRs are the starting point of Moody's bank credit analysis, and are an important determinant of Moody's bank deposit and debt ratings.

Moody's then uses its JDA methodology to incorporate the potential for external support into a bank's local currency deposit rating. The potential for external support can reduce the riskiness of a bank's deposit and debt obligations; however, such support is often uncertain. Moody's uses conservative support assumptions and a limited number of support levels to ensure that sufficient weight is given to a bank's intrinsic financial strength in its bank deposit and debt ratings.

Moody's uses deposit ratings to determine bank debt ratings based on its notching guidelines for bank securities. Ratings for foreign currency obligations are determined after considering Moody's country ceilings for foreign currency ratings.

The methodologies are being implemented country by country, with results being announced on a weekly basis. Results for those banks with a parent bank located in another country where the methodologies have not yet been implemented will be concluded at the same time as the parent. The Greek banks affected by this are Emporiki Bank of Greece SA and General Bank of Greece SA.

Moody's has assigned support levels to Greek banks using its high country support guideline. This guideline takes into consideration the historic evidence of support for banks, as well as the size, strength, and degree of fragmentation of the banking system.

The BFSRs of three rated Greek banks were upgraded by one notch reflecting their improving financial fundamentals and evolving franchises. The debt and deposit ratings of several banks were also upgraded reflecting their importance to the country's financial system. The largest rating upgrade was for Piraeus Bank SA, whose long-term deposit and senior debt ratings increased by three notches to A1 from Baa1, reflecting a one notch upgrade of the bank's BFSR to C as well as the very high probability of systemic support given the bank's sizable domestic market share.

This press release lists the names of issuers in Greece whose ratings have been gone through this process. To view all ratings changes and other documents explaining Moody's bank rating methodologies, please go to www.moodys.com/JDABanks.

The issuers and their ratings are as follows:

Agricultural Bank of Greece SA:

- BFSR has been changed to D from D-.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of Baa1/Prime-2 have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings remain unchanged at Baa1/Prime-2.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated obligations has been upgraded to Baa2 from Baa3.

- All ratings are assigned stable outlooks.

Alpha Bank AE:

- BFSR remains unchanged at C.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of A1/Prime-1 have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings have been upgraded to A1/Prime-1 from A3/Prime-1.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for senior obligations has been upgraded to A1 from A3.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated debt obligations has been upgraded to A2 from Baa1.

- Foreign Currency Preferred Securities Rating has been upgraded to A3 from Baa2.

- All ratings are assigned stable outlooks.

Bank of Attica SA:

- BFSR remains unchanged at D.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of Ba1/Not-Prime have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings remain unchanged at Ba1/Not-Prime.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated debt obligations remains unchanged at Ba2.

- All ratings are assigned stable outlooks.

EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA:

- BFSR remains unchanged at C+.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of Aa3/Prime-1 have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings have been upgraded to Aa3/Prime-1 from A2/Prime-1.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for senior obligations has been upgraded to Aa3 from A2.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated debt obligations has been upgraded to A1 from A3.

- Foreign Currency Preferred Securities Rating has been upgraded to A2 from Baa1.

- Commercial Paper Rating remains unchanged at Prime-1.

- All ratings are assigned positive outlooks.

Egnatia Bank SA:

- BFSR remains unchanged at D+.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of Baa1/Prime-2 have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings have been upgraded to Baa1/Prime-2 from Baa3/Prime-3.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for senior obligations has been upgraded to Baa1 from Baa3.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated debt obligations has been upgraded to Baa2 from Ba1.

- All ratings are assigned stable outlooks.

National Bank of Greece SA:

- BFSR has changed to C+ from C.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of Aa3/Prime-1 have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings have been upgraded to Aa3/Prime-1 from A2/Prime-1.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for senior obligations has been upgraded to Aa3 from A2.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated debt obligations has been upgraded to A1 from A3.

- Foreign Currency Preferred Securities Rating has been upgraded to A2 from Baa1.

- All ratings are assigned stable outlooks.

Piraeus Bank SA:

- BFSR has changed to C from C-.

- Global Local Currency Deposit Ratings of A1/Prime-1 have been assigned.

- Foreign Currency Deposit Ratings have been upgraded to A1/Prime-1 from Baa1/Prime-2.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for senior obligations has been upgraded to A1 from Baa1.

- Foreign Currency Debt Rating for subordinated debt obligations has been upgraded to A2 from Baa2.

- Foreign Currency Preferred Securities Rating has been upgraded to A3 from Baa3.

- Commercial Paper Rating has been upgraded to Prime-1 from Prime-2.

- All ratings are assigned stable outlooks.

ABOUT MOODY'S BANK RATINGS

Bank Financial Strength Rating

Moody's Bank Financial Strength Ratings (BFSRs) represent Moody's opinion of a bank's intrinsic safety and soundness and, as such, exclude certain external credit risks and credit support elements that are addressed by Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings. Bank Financial Strength Ratings do not take into account the probability that the bank will receive such external support, nor do they address risks arising from sovereign actions that may interfere with a bank's ability to honor its domestic or foreign currency obligations. Factors considered in the assignment of Bank Financial Strength Ratings include bank-specific elements such as financial fundamentals, franchise value, and business and asset diversification. Although Bank Financial Strength Ratings exclude the external factors specified above, they do take into account other risk factors in the bank's operating environment, including the strength and prospective performance of the economy, as well as the structure and relative fragility of the financial system, and the quality of banking regulation and supervision.

Global Local Currency Deposit Rating

A deposit rating, as an opinion of relative credit risk, incorporates the Bank Financial Strength Rating as well as Moody's opinion of any external support. Specifically, Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings are opinions of a bank's ability to repay punctually its deposit obligations. As such, Moody's Global Local Currency Bank Deposit Ratings are intended to incorporate those aspects of credit risk relevant to the prospective payment performance of rated banks with respect to local currency deposit obligations, and includes: intrinsic financial strength and both implicit and explicit external support elements. Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings do not take into account the benefit of deposit insurance schemes which make payments to depositors, but they do recognize the potential support from schemes that may provide assistance to banks directly.

Foreign Currency Deposit Rating

Moody's ratings on foreign currency bank obligations derive from the bank's local currency rating for the same class of obligation. The implementation of JDA for banks can lead to a high local currency ratings for certain banks, which could also produce high foreign currency ratings. Nevertheless, it should be reminded that foreign currency deposit ratings are in all cases constrained by the country ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits. This may result in the assignment of a different, and typically lower, rating for the foreign currency deposits relative to the bank's rating for local currency obligations.

Foreign Currency Debt Rating

Foreign currency debt ratings are derived from the bank's local currency debt rating for the same class of obligation. In a similar way to foreign currency deposit ratings, foreign currency debt obligations may also be constrained by the country ceiling for foreign currency bonds and notes, however, in some cases the ratings on foreign currency debt obligations may be allowed to pierce the foreign currency ceiling. A particular mix of rating factors are taken into consideration in order to assess whether a foreign currency bond rating pierces the country ceiling. They include the issuer's global local currency rating, the foreign currency government bond rating, the country ceiling for bonds and the debt's eligibility to pierce that ceiling.

National Scale Rating

National scale ratings are intended primarily for use by domestic investors and are not comparable to Moody's globally applicable ratings; rather they address relative credit risk within a given country. An Aaa rating on Moody's National Scale indicates an issuer or issue with the strongest creditworthiness and the lowest likelihood of credit loss relative to other domestic issuers. National Scale Ratings, therefore, rank domestic issuers relative to each other and not relative to absolute default risks. National ratings isolate systemic risks; they do not address loss expectation associated with systemic events that could affect all issuers, even those that receive the highest ratings on the National Scale.

Limassol
Mardig Haladjian
General Manager
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Limited
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Limassol
Constantinos Pittalis
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Limited
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. AND ITS RATINGS AFFILIATES (“MIS”) ARE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY INCLUDE MOODY’S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY’S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE MOODY’S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY’S RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S ANALYTICS, INC. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY’S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

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MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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