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Rating Action:

Moody's changes outlook to stable on 7 Italian financial institutions' ratings

18 Feb 2014

Actions follow the change in outlook to stable on Italy's Baa2 government bond rating

London, 18 February 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed the Baa2 long-term ratings and changed the outlook to stable from negative of the following banks: UniCredit SpA, Intesa Sanpaolo Spa (Intesa), Banca IMI Spa, Banca CR Firenze S.p.A., Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza S.P.A. (Cariparma) and the Baa3 long-term issuer rating of UniCredit Leasing S.p.A.

The outlook changes follow the stabilisation of the Italian government's creditworthiness, reflected in Moody's change to stable from negative of the outlook on Italy's Baa2 government bond ratings, on 14 February 2014.

However, Moody's says that there is no direct impact from the sovereign action on (1) other Italian banks' ratings; (2) the negative outlook on the Italian banking system; and (3) the negative outlook on the standalone credit profiles of most Italian banks. According to Moody's, these outlooks continue to reflect the rating agency's expectation of weak GDP growth in Italy (at around 0.5% for 2014), asset-quality deterioration, weak profitability and uncertainties related to how the ECB's comprehensive assessment of banks in Europe will affect those in Italy.

RATINGS RATIONALE

--- UNICREDIT SPA

Moody's change of outlook of Unicredit's long-term Baa2 ratings reflects its current expectation that systemic support would likely mitigate any potential moderate deterioration in UniCredit's standalone financial strength (Bank Financial Strength Rating -- "BFSR" - of D+/ Baseline Credit Assessment -- "BCA" - of baa3).

--- UNICREDIT LEASING

Following the change in outlook for UniCredit SpA, Moody's stabilised the outlook on the Baa3 long-term issuer rating for UniCredit Leasing, a fully-owned subsidiary of UniCredit SpA specialised in leasing.

This action reflects UniCredit SpA's stable outlook on its Baa2 deposit rating, and that the support from Unicredit SpA (including any potential systemic support) would offset any intrinsic weakening of Unicredit Leasing (UniCredit Leasing standalone BCA is unchanged at b2).

--- INTESA

Intesa's stable outlook reflects Moody's current expectation that systemic support would likely mitigate any potential moderate deterioration in Intesa's standalone financial strength (Bank Financial Strength Rating -- "BFSR" - of D+/ Baseline Credit Assessment -- "BCA" - of baa3).

--- BANCA IMI and BANCA CR FIRENZE

According to Moody's, the Baa2 ratings of Intesa's subsidiaries are equalised to the parent's ratings; the stable outlook on the deposit ratings follows the outlook on those of the parent. Moody's bases this on its assessment of a very high probability of support from Intesa, given the latter's control of its subsidiaries and their strategic position within the group.

--- CARIPARMA

According to Moody's, Cariparma's Baa2 deposit rating outlook is no longer constrained by the sovereign outlook. Cariparma's stable outlook is driven by the stable outlook of the parent, Credit Agricole S.A. (CASA, rated A2 stable; BFSR D/BCA ba2 stable). This reflects Moody's expectation that uplift from parental support would likely increase to two notches (from one) if the rating agency lowers Cariparma's baa3 standalone BCA to ba1, resulting in no change of the Baa2 deposit rating.

--- CASSA DEPOSITI E PRESTITI

Moody's changed the outlook on CDP's Baa2 long-term issuer rating to stable, in line with the stable outlook on the Italian government's debt rating. CDP's Baa2 rating and stable outlook reflect the combination of (1) a BCA of baa2; (2) the Italian government bond rating of Baa2 stable; and (3) strong dependence on and very high support from the Italian government.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

--- UNICREDIT

Upward pressure could develop on the BCA following (1) a significant improvement in profitability, particularly in the group's core Italian business; and (2) a reduction in the level of problem loans. The deposit rating could be upgraded if the BCA is raised and Italy's sovereign creditworthiness improves.

Conversely, downward pressure on the ratings could stem from (1) evidence that the operating environment - particularly in the Italian market - is leading to further significant deterioration in profitability or asset quality; or (2) market access becoming restricted for a long period, leading to dependence on ECB funding. A lowering of the BCA is unlikely to prompt a downgrade of the long-term deposit and debt ratings because of the very high systemic support. However, the uplift Moody's incorporates in banks' supported long-term ratings depends on how the prospects for systemic support evolve in Italy and in the EU, because of developments with regard to resolution mechanisms and burden sharing for European banks. A downgrade of the Italian government bond rating would also lead to a downgrade of UniCredit's debt and deposit ratings.

--- UNICREDIT LEASING

If UniCredit Leasing's problem loan levels stabilise -- and it returns to sustainable profitability level -- upward pressure on its BCA would develop. The issuer ratings could be upgraded following an upgrade of UniCredit SpA.

A sustained deterioration in asset quality, profitability or capital would exert downward pressure on UniCredit Leasing's standalone BCA. A lower BCA, or a downgrade of UniCredit SpA, could lead to a downgrade of the issuer ratings.

--- INTESA

Moody's could raise the standalone BCA in the event of an improvement in profitability against the pressures stemming from asset-quality deterioration, potentially decreasing business volumes and margin compression. These improvements would demonstrate that Intesa's cost base had stronger flexibility. The deposit rating could be upgraded if the standalone BCA and Italy's sovereign creditworthiness improve.

Conversely, Moody's could downgrade the ratings if the pressures were to intensify from a weak economic environment with negative or very low real GDP growth. A continuing weak economy could lead to further pressure on the bank's profitability and asset quality. If market access becomes restricted for a long period combined with a dependence on central bank funding, it might indicate that Intesa will face challenges in growing its retail funding base. A lowering of the BCA is unlikely to prompt a downgrade of the long-term deposit and debt ratings because of the very high systemic support. However, the uplift Moody's incorporates in banks' supported long-term ratings depends on how the prospects for systemic support evolve in Italy and in the EU, because of developments with regard to resolution mechanisms and burden sharing for European banks. A downgrade of the Italian government bond rating would also lead to a downgrade of the bank's deposit ratings.

--- BANCA IMI

A raising of the BCA could be triggered by an upgrade of Intesa's BCA coupled with (1) implementation of a sound strategy and business model for the bank, provided this is accompanied by satisfactory capital ratios and strong risk controls; and/or (2) the successful development of stronger and more diversified revenues, and greater penetration of Intesa group's customer base.

Moody's could lower the BCA following a downgrade of Intesa's BCA or evidence that Banca IMI is not managing to develop business with and create value for the Intesa group, or evidence that Banca IMI's risk profile is increasing, in difficult market conditions. Furthermore, any signs that the bank would be managed at greater arms' length from Intesa will weaken Banca IMI's standalone profile, as it is unlikely to benefit from the same scale and scope that Intesa benefits from. A downgrade of the deposit rating could be triggered by a negative change in Banca IMI's BCA or a downgrade of the deposit rating of Intesa.

--- BANCA CR FIRENZE

A raising of the BCA could be triggered by an upgrade of the parent's BCA, together with improved profitability, asset quality and capital adequacy.

A lowering of Intesa's BCA or evidence that the bank is losing market share in its key markets and declining pre-provision profitability could exert downward pressure on the BCA. Furthermore, any signs that the bank would be managed at greater arms' length from Intesa would most likely weaken its standalone profile, as it is unlikely to benefit from the same scale and scope that Intesa benefits from. A lower BCA for Banca CR Firenze could lead to a lower deposit rating and a downgrade of Intesa's deposit rating could also lead to a downgrade of Banca CR Firenze's deposit rating.

--- CDP

Positive rating pressure could develop following a potential upgrade of Italy's government bond rating; however, this would be contingent on CDP continuing to maintain its strong links with the Italian State.

CDP's ratings could be downgraded as a consequence of a material deterioration in its risk profile and/or in the event of a downgrade of Italy's rating. Substantial weakening of its linkages with the Italian State would also exert negative pressure on CDP's ratings.

--- CARIPARMA

Moody's might upgrade Cariparma's ratings if the operating environment in Italy were to improve, prompting improvements in the banks' profitability and a stabilisation in asset quality.

Further deterioration in the bank's profitability and asset quality could exert downward pressure on the bank's BCA and therefore on its long-term deposit rating. A lowering of the BCA or a downgrade of the Italian government bond rating, would not necessarily lead to a downgrade of the bank's long-term ratings. This is because of the high parental support.

The following outlooks were changed:

.. Banca CR Firenze S.p.A. to Stable(m) from Negative

.. Banca IMI Spa to Stable(m) from Negative

.. Cassa Di Risparmio Di Parma E Piacenza S.P.A. to Stable(m) from Negative

.. Intesa Bank Ireland p.l.c. to Stable from Negative

.. Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland plc to Stable from Negative

.. Intesa Sanpaolo Spa to Stable(m) from Negative

.. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA Hong Kong Branch to Stable from Negative

.. Intesa Sanpaolo Spa, NY Branch to Stable from Negative

.. Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A. to Stable(m) from Negative

.. Societe Europeenne de Banque SA to Stable from Negative

.. UniCredit Bank Ireland p.l.c. to Stable from Negative

.. UniCredit Int'l Bank (Luxembourg) S.A. to Stable(m) from Negative

.. UniCredit Luxembourg Finance S.A. to Stable (m) from Negative

.. UniCredit SpA to Stable(m) from Negative

.. Unicredito SpA, New York Branch to Stable from Negative

.. Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A. to Stable from Negative

.. UniCredit Leasing S.p.A. to Stable from Negative

Affirmations:

..Issuer: Banca CR Firenze S.p.A.

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed Baa2

.... Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular, Affirmed Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Banca IMI Spa

.... Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Cassa Di Risparmio Di Parma E Piacenza S.P.A.

.... Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Intesa Bank Ireland p.l.c.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Intesa Funding LLC

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

..Issuer: Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland plc

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Intesa Sanpaolo Spa

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed Baa2

.... Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Program, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Intesa Sanpaolo SpA Hong Kong Branch

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

..Issuer: Intesa Sanpaolo Spa, NY Branch

.... Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A.

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Societe Europeenne de Banque SA

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Program, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: UniCredit Bank Ireland p.l.c.

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

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

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: UniCredit Int'l Bank (Luxembourg) S.A.

....Senior Unsecured Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

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

..Issuer: UniCredit Luxembourg Finance S.A.

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

..Issuer: UniCredit SpA

.... Deposit Rating, Affirmed P-2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Multiple Seniority Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)P-2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Program, Affirmed (P)Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: UniCredito Italiano Delaware, Inc.

.... Commercial Paper, Affirmed P-2

..Issuer: Unicredito SpA, New York Branch

....Senior Unsecured Deposit Rating, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A.

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-2

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed Baa2

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

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa2

..Issuer: UniCredit Leasing S.p.A.

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-3

.... Issuer Rating, Affirmed Baa3

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in rating Cassa Di Risparmio Di Parma E Piacenza S.P.A., Intesa Sanpaolo Spa, Banca CR Firenze S.p.A., Banca IMI Spa, Intesa Bank Ireland p.l.c., Intesa Sanpaolo SpA Hong Kong Branch, Intesa Sanpaolo Spa, NY Branch, Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A., Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Ireland plc, Societe Europeenne de Banque SA, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A, UniCredit SpA, UniCredit Int'l Bank (Luxembourg) S.A., UniCredit Luxembourg Finance S.A., UniCredit Bank Ireland p.l.c. and Unicredito SpA, New York Branch was Global Banks published in May 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

The principal methodology used in rating UniCredit Leasing S.p.A. and Intesa Funding LLC was Finance Company Global Rating Methodology published in March 2012. Please see the Credit Policy 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 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.

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.

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.

Carlo Gori
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Johannes Felix Wassenberg
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's changes outlook to stable on 7 Italian financial institutions' ratings
No Related Data.
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