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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns Prime-1 to Mizuho USCP Program

 The document has been translated in other languages

29 Oct 2010

Tokyo, October 29, 2010 -- Moody's Japan K.K. has assigned a Prime-1 rating to the USD5 billion USCP program of Mizuho Funding LLC, a special purpose corporation set up by Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. (MHCB). This is MHCB's first USCP program. It is guaranteed by MHCB and allows for the issuance of notes of no more than 397 days' tenor. The outlook for the rating is stable.

This rating is subject to receipt of final documentation, the terms and conditions of which are not expected to change in any material way from the draft documents Moody's has reviewed.

RATING RATIONALE

The Prime-1 rating reflects MHCB's Aa3 and Prime-1 long and short-term deposit rating. The Aa3 ratings incorporate the following: 1) MHCB's bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of D+ (baseline credit assessment of Baa3) 2) the Aaa systemic support input for Japan bank ratings, which is two notches above Japan's local currency government debt rating of Aa2 3) the "very high" systemic support probability for the combined banking operations of MHCB, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., and Mizuho Trust and Banking Co., Ltd., given the group's importance to Japan's financial system 4) the supported group's GLC deposit rating of Aa3 5) the "fully supported" group support probability factor for MHCB

The rating is also based on Moody's assessment of the balance sheet of MHCB's New York City branch, including its deposit maturity profiles and the scale of its committed lines, as well as MHCB's liquidity management guidelines and the current preparedness of MHCB NY's alternative funding sources.

MHCB NY has no intrinsic USD deposit base to address any liquidity stress in the US markets. Consequently, alternate liquidity sources of MHCB NY relies mainly on its investment securities holdings (including USD Treasury bills), due-from banks, and significant placements from its parent. The scale of the funding from the parent via its inter-office account is an important stability factor and is roughly equivalent to MHCB NY's illiquid loans outstanding. The rest of the balance sheet is characterized by matching short-term liabilities and short-term assets.

MHCB NY's money gap limits have been managed conservatively to restrict the branch's net exposure to inter-bank and short-term money markets. In Moody's view, MHCB NY will be able to absorb conceivable range of stressed liquidity calls, including an unexpected rise in the use of commitment lines or an inability to roll its short-term deposits. In addition, even though a stress situation lasts unexpectedly long, MHCB Tokyo head office's ample liquidity resources may fulfill MHCB NY's funding needs. MHCB Tokyo is also a wholesale funded institution, but its funding resources are more reliable, as evidenced by its large JGB holdings, which as of March 2010 amounted to around JPY13 trillion (non-consolidated).

In Moody's view, the purpose of MHCB's USCP program is to diversify the NY branch's funding sources away from its current reliance on short-term inter-bank markets. While the USCP markets would not be a perfect replacement for a short-term inter-bank market, judicious use of the program would allow MHCB to tap into new investor markets, which in a normal environment would contribute only marginally to the diversification of funding sources.

Moody's does not expect aggressive expansion of MHCB NY's on or off balance sheet USD activities, given the requirement that the bank generate stable earnings, in accordance with the Mizuho Financial Group's medium-term policies.

The last rating action on MHCB was taken on April 8, 2009, when its bank financial strength rating was lowered to D+ from C, and its deposit and senior debt ratings to Aa3 from Aa2.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were Moody's Alternate Liquidity For Banks' Commercial Paper, Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology, and Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology, published on September 30, 2010. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found on www.moodys.co.jp.

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is one of major banks in Japan, and is a major operating bank of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings, public information, confidential and proprietary Moody's information.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the issuer or obligations satisfactory for the purposes of assigning a credit rating.

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Moody's Japan K.K. is a credit rating agency registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency, registration number "FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2." The Financial Services Agency has not imposed any sanctions on Moody's Japan K.K. in the past year.

MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY'S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

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Tokyo
Tetsuya Yamamoto
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Tokyo
Minoru Kubota
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Moody's Japan K.K.
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Moody's assigns Prime-1 to Mizuho USCP Program
No Related Data.
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