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Rating Action:

Moody's changes outlook on Argentine banks deposits and debts ratings to stable from negative

 The document has been translated in other languages

05 Nov 2015

Buenos Aires City, November 05, 2015 -- Moody's Latin America Agente de Calificación de Riesgo S.A. (MLA) has today changed the outlook on 34 Argentine banks, finance companies, and securities firms' to stable from negative. The rating actions follow Moody's Investors Service decision on November 2 to change the outlook on Argentina's Caa1 local currency government bond rating to stable from negative (please see "Moody's changes outlook on Argentina's Caa1/(P)Caa2 ratings to stable from negative; Caa1/(P)Caa2 ratings affirmed"). The banks rating actions take into account the high underlying inter-linkages between the banks' standalone credit risk profiles and that of the sovereign.

At the same time, Moody's lowered the national scale local currency deposit rating, and the senior unsecured debt rating and debt program ratings in local currency of BST of Banco de Servicios y Transacciones (BST) to Ba1.ar from Baa3.ar and upgraded the national scale local currency deposit rating of Banco del Chubut (Chubut) to Baa1.ar from Baa2.ar. In addition, Moody's has placed under review for possible downgrade the Aaa.ar national scale local currency deposit rating of Deutsche Bank (Argentina), following the announcement of the bank's parent, Deutsche Bank AG, that it plans to exit Argentina. Moody's also affirmed the deposit, debt, issuer and corporate family ratings of all other rated Argentine banks, finance companies, and securities firms as well as banks' counterparty risk assessments, baseline credit assessments and adjusted baseline credit assessments.

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR THE STABLE OUTLOOK

Moody's outlook change to stable from negative reflects our view that the results of the first round of Argentina's presidential elections increase the likelihood of a more consistent policy framework that could boost banks business prospects, regardless of who wins the presidency. Although it remains unclear what specific policies each candidate will pursue if elected, the 25 October electoral results suggest greater than previously expected support for policy change of some sort. This raises the probability that the next administration will seek to address Argentina's mounting credit constraints -- including a fall in international reserves, a lack of access to international capital markets, high inflation and a rising fiscal deficit -- which should improve investor confidence and business environment.

RATIONALE FOR AFFIRMING BANKS' DEPOSIT AND DEBT RATINGS

The affirmations on the Argentine financial institutions' ratings consider that their financial fundamentals continue to be relatively sound despite the challenging operating environment, particularly relative to their current rating levels. Despite these challenges, banks and other affected financial institutions are reasonably well capitalized and non-performing loan ratios system-wide remain relatively low, reflecting strong asset quality. Moreover, banks are largely deposit funded, with little exposure to foreign currency risk, and have large holdings of liquid assets. In addition, reported earnings remain high, though they are much narrower when adjusted for inflation.

Nevertheless, banks' ratings remain constrained by Argentina's very weak macro profile, which reflects the challenging operating environment banks face, characterized by burdensome government regulations and large economic imbalances. Consequently, only Argentine banks that benefit from support from foreign parents have GSRs above that of the sovereign.

RATIONALE FOR LOWERING BANCO DE SERVICIOS Y TRANSACCIONES NATIONAL SCALE DEPOSIT RATING

In lowering BST's national scale deposit rating, Moody's acknowledges the bank's very weak earnings and narrow capitalization. In addition, BST has a relatively high reliance on market funds and securitizations, which exposes the bank to refinancing risk. The bank reported losses as of June 2015 as a result of rising funding costs related to its wholesale funding strategy, low business volume driven by the economic slowdown, and rising operating expenses. Notwithstanding these challenges, BST's ratings are supported by its shareholders proven commitment to the bank, as illustrated by its AR$100 million recapitalization plan that began in September with a capital injection of AR$25 million. The remaining commitment is expected to be injected by 1H2016. If the full amount were injected today, the bank's adjusted capital ratio would rise to 10.05% from just 6.58% as of June 2015, but we expect this to be eroded by continued losses and loan growth. BST's Ba1.ar local currency deposit rating is the lowest option on the Argentine national scale corresponding to a Caa1 global scale rating.

RATIONALE FOR UPGRADING BANCO DEL CHUBUT NATIONAL SCALE DEPOSIT RATING

In upgrading Chubut's national scale local currency deposit rating, Moody's considered the bank's healthy asset quality metrics, very strong capitalization, good earnings generation capacity, and relatively high liquidity indicators. The bank's role as the financial and payroll agent of the Province of Chubut ensures a low funding cost and provides the bank privileged access to the province's employees. The payroll-deductible loans that Chubut offers public servants have historically shown low delinquencies, helping to limit the bank's non-performing loan ratio to only 1.3% as of June 2015 despite average annual nominal loan growth higher than 30% in last three years and geographic concentration. Asset quality has also been supported by the province's relatively healthy economy, which is attributable in large part to its oil wealth. The recent drop in oil prices has not had a significant impact. With a ratio of net income to tangible banking assets of 3%, relatively high even by Argentine standards, earnings have been sufficient to maintain an adjusted capital ratio of nearly 25%, among the strongest of Argentine banks. The bank's regulatory Tier 1 capital ratio, which does not risk-weight its sovereign debt holdings, is even higher, at 35%. Liquidity has also remained above average, at 33% of total banking assets as of June 2015, mainly invested in central bank bills. Chubut's Baa1.ar local currency deposit rating is equal to the highest national scale rating assigned to any domestically-owned Argentine bank.

RATIONALE FOR PLACING UNDER REVIEW FOR POSSIBLE DOWNGRADE DEUTSCHE BANK'S (ARGENTINA) RATING

The review for possible downgrade of Deutsche Bank's Argentine subsidiary's Aaa.ar national scale deposit rating will consider whether the probability that the bank's parent will support it in the event of stress has decreased following Deutsche Bank's recent announcement that it plans to exit Argentina, among other countries, as a result of the implementation of its global strategy 2020. A reduction in Moody's assessment of parental support would likely result in a downgrade of at least one notch. If, however, the current assessment of very high support is maintained, the rating would likely be confirmed and the outlook revised to stable, in line with the outlooks on the rest of the Argentine banking system.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

Those banks whose ratings are constrained by the sovereign, generally reflected in financial profiles of B3, are likely to face upward pressure if Argentina's outlook is revised to positive or its government bond rating upgraded. Bank ratings could also face upward pressure if Argentina's macro profile rises due to an improvement in the country's economic or institutional strength, or a reduction in its susceptibility to event risk. On the other hand, the ratings could go down if the operating environment deteriorates, affecting the entities' business prospects or financial fundamentals, or if the country ceiling or Argentina's government bond rating is downgraded.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AFFECTED

Banco Cetelem Argentina S.A.

Banco Comafi S.A.

Banco de Corrientes S.A.

Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A.

Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires

Banco de la Provincia de Cordoba S.A.

Banco de Santiago del Estero S.A.

Banco de Servicios y Transacciones S.A.

Banco de Valores S.A.

Banco del Chubut S.A.

Banco del Tucuman S.A.

Banco Finansur S.A.

Banco Hipotecario S.A.

Banco Itau Argentina S.A.

Banco Macro S.A.

Banco Patagonia S.A.

Banco Piano S.A.

Banco Santander Rio S.A.

Banco Supervielle S.A.

BNP Paribas (Argentina)

Cordial Compania Financiera S.A.

Deutsche Bank S.A. (Argentina)

Grupo Supervielle S.A.

HSBC Bank Argentina S.A.

ICBC (Argentina) S.A.

Nuevo Banco de La Rioja S.A.

PSA Finance Argentina Comp.Fin.S.A.

Toyota Compania Financiera de Argentina S.A.

Control Union Argentina S.A.

GPAT Compania Financiera S.A

John Deere Credit Compania Financiera S.A.

Rombo Compania Financiera S.A.

Mercado a Termino de Buenos Aires S.A.

Puente S.A.

The principal methodology used in rating Banco Cetelem Argentina S.A., Banco Comafi S.A., Banco de Corrientes S.A., Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A., Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Banco de la Provincia de Cordoba S.A., Banco de Santiago del Estero S.A., Banco de Servicios y Transacciones S.A., Banco de Valores S.A., Banco del Chubut S.A., Banco del Tucuman S.A., Banco Finansur S.A., Banco Hipotecario S.A., Banco Itau Argentina S.A., Banco Macro S.A., Banco Patagonia S.A., Banco Piano S.A., Banco Santander Rio S.A., Banco Supervielle S.A., BNP Paribas (Argentina), Cordial Compania Financiera S.A., Deutsche Bank S.A. (Argentina), Grupo Supervielle S.A., HSBC Bank Argentina S.A., ICBC (Argentina) S.A., Nuevo Banco de La Rioja S.A., PSA Finance Argentina Comp.Fin.S.A., and Toyota Compania Financiera de Argentina S.A. was Banks published in March 2015. The principal methodology used in rating Control Union Argentina S.A., GPAT Compania Financiera S.A, John Deere Credit Compania Financiera S.A., and Rombo Compania Financiera S.A. was Finance Companies published in October 2015. The principal methodology used in rating Mercado a Termino de Buenos Aires S.A. and Puente S.A. was Global Securities Industry Methodology published in May 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com.ar for a copy of these methodologies.

Moody's National Scale Credit Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale credit ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".za" for South Africa. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale credit ratings, please refer to Moody's Credit rating Methodology published in June 2014 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings".

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 rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular 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.ar.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this 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.

For issuers domiciled in Argentina, the regulatory report related to this rating action is available on www.moodys.com.ar.

Please see www.moodys.com.ar 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.ar for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Maria Valeria Azconegui
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Latin America ACR
Ing. Butty 240
16th Floor
Buenos Aires City C1001AFB
Argentina
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 5129 2600

M. Celina Vansetti
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Latin America ACR
Ing. Butty 240
16th Floor
Buenos Aires City C1001AFB
Argentina
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 5129 2600

Moody's changes outlook on Argentine banks deposits and debts ratings to stable from negative
No Related Data.
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