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Announcement:

Moody's changes outlook of National Factoring Company (Russia) to stable from negative

20 Sep 2010

Moscow, September 20, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today changed to stable from negative the outlook on the B3 long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings as well as the E+ Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR) of National Factoring Company CJSC ("NFC"). All global scale ratings are affirmed at current levels. At the same time, Moody's Interfax Rating Agency, which is majority owned by Moody's, has affirmed NFC's long-term National Scale Rating ("NSR") at Baa3.ru.

RATING RATIONALE

The change in outlook reflects the stabilisation and improvements of NFC's funding base, profitability, asset quality and franchise, and hence the reduced likelihood of default of NFC. Whilst the bank recorded a significant level of non-performing loans (NPLs) that accounted for ca. 20% of the factoring book, it has also reported a reasonably high level of LLR/NPL coverage by 77% at year-end 2009. Moody's also notes that NFC has remained profitable with ROA at 1% in 2009, and asset quality has started to demonstrate an improving trend thanks to improving conditions in the sectors of the economy where the bank operates (trade).

Despite the repayment of a significant portion of liabilities in 2009, whereby NFC had to reduce its total assets by 43% compared to year-end 2008, liquidity remained adequate and the bank was able to meet all repayments thanks to (i) the short-term nature of the factoring book issued under adequate risk standards, and (ii) significant funding from sister Bank Uralsib (one of the top 10 banks in Russia as at end-H1-2010) and the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). Although its factoring book is mainly being financed by equity and Bank Uralsib funding, third-party funding sources have started to emerge. At the same time, despite a reduction in financing, NFC retained a significant portion of its franchise and distribution network, thus enabling it to maintain profitable operations, and its factoring book has now started to grow. Due to its de-leveraging strategy, NFC now demonstrates fairly high capital adequacy (with the Tier 1 ratio exceeding 51% at end-H1-2010) which is more than adequate to cover credit and market risks, and Moody's believes this will be maintained at adequate levels despite planned growth.

At the same time, Moody's notes NFC's narrow franchise, and highlights that the company's ability to significantly grow its factoring book remains questionable due to intense competition and the weak competitive advantage in the low-risk sectors. In addition, its funding base is potentially vulnerable to market sentiment in the event of growing dependence on third-party funding while asset quality remains vulnerable to potential deterioration in the operating environment.

Moody's previous rating action on NFC was on 13 May 2009 when the rating agency downgraded the company's long-term global local currency ratings to B3 from B2 and changed the outlook on NFC's ratings to negative from stable.

The principal methodologies used in rating NFC are "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology", published in February 2007, and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology", published in March 2007, which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating NFC can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

Based in Moscow, NFC is one of the largest companies operating in the Russian factoring sector. The company reported total consolidated assets of US$172 million and total equity of US$86 million under audited IFRS at year-end-2009. NFC and its sister Bank Uralsib are controlled by the same owner.

Moscow
Vladlen Kuznetsov
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Eastern Europe LLC
Telephone: +7 495 228 6060
Facsimile: +7 495 228 6091

Moscow
Yaroslav Sovgyra
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Eastern Europe LLC
Telephone: +7 495 228 6060
Facsimile: +7 495 228 6091

Moody's Eastern Europe LLC
7th floor, Four Winds Plaza
21 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya St.
Moscow 125047
Russia

Moody's changes outlook of National Factoring Company (Russia) to stable from negative
No Related Data.
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