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Rating Action:

Moody's confirms City of Athens's Caa3 issuer rating; stable outlook

28 Sep 2015

Action follows conclusion of sovereign rating review

London, 28 September 2015 -- Moody's Public Sector Europe ("MPSE") has today confirmed City of Athens's Caa3 issuer rating and changed the outlook to stable. This concludes the review for downgrade initiated in July 2015.

This rating action follows Moody's decision to confirm Greece's government bond rating at Caa3 and change the outlook to stable on 25 September 2015. For additional information, please refer to the sovereign press release: https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_335001.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The rating action on the City of Athens reflects Moody's assessment of the stabilising operating environment for Greek sub-sovereigns, as captured in the rating action on the sovereign bond rating. The sovereign action indicates that systemic risk - arising from the City of Athens' close operational and financial linkages with the Greek government - is unlikely to heighten. In addition, institutional linkages intensify the close ties between the two levels of government through the sovereign's ability to change the institutional framework under which Greek municipalities operate.

Although Athens has a large degree of autonomy in its management, it is highly reliant on central government transfers for operations and capital investments, and its local economic base is heavily integrated with that of the national economy. The City of Athens derives around 40% of its operating revenues from central government transfers (representing its second-largest source of income) and capital investments are almost entirely funded by government grants and EU funds.

RATIONALE FOR CONFIRMING THE RATING

The confirmation of Athens' rating reflects the city's record in sustaining positive financial results and reducing its debt amid a challenging economic environment. The rating is also underpinned by the city administration's ongoing commitment to maintaining a prudent budgetary policy. Moody's notes that the city's self-imposed fiscal discipline has helped Athens to consolidate its rigid budget and pursue financial equilibrium for the fourth consecutive year. Moody's expects that Athens will maintain a cautious approach to expenditures. The city has no plans to borrow until the end of 2016 which would likely enable a further decline of its debt levels to below 30% of operating revenue.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

An upgrade of Athens' rating would depend on the strengthening of Greece's sovereign profile.

A deterioration of the sovereign's credit strength would apply downward pressure on Athens' rating given the close financial and operational linkages between the two. Fiscal slippage or the emergence of significant liquidity risks would also exert downward pressure on Athens' rating.

The sovereign action required the publication of this credit rating action on a date that deviates from the previously scheduled release date in the sovereign release calendar, published on www.moodys.com.

The specific economic indicators, as required by EU regulation, are not available for Athens, City of. The following national economic indicators are relevant to the sovereign rating, which was used as an input to this credit rating action.

Sovereign Issuer: Greece, Government of

GDP per capita (PPP basis, US$): 25,859 (2014 Actual) (also known as Per Capita Income)

Real GDP growth (% change): 0.8% (2014 Actual) (also known as GDP Growth)

Inflation Rate (CPI, % change Dec/Dec): -2.6% (2014 Actual)

Gen. Gov. Financial Balance/GDP: -3.5% (2014 Actual) (also known as Fiscal Balance)

Current Account Balance/GDP: 0.9% (2014 Actual) (also known as External Balance)

External debt/GDP: [not available]

Level of economic development: Moderate level of economic resilience

Default history: At least one default event (on bonds and/or loans) has been recorded since 1983.

On 25 September 2015, a rating committee was called to discuss the rating of the Athens, City of. The main points raised during the discussion were: The systemic risk in which the issuer operates has materially decreased.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Regional and Local Governments published in January 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

The weighting of all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this rating action, if applicable.

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.

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.

Gjorgji Josifov
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Sub-Sovereign Group
MIS EMEA Limited Czech Branch
Washingtonova 17
110 00 Praha 1 (Prague 1)
Prague
Czech Republic
Telephone: +420-22-422-2929

David Rubinoff
MD - Sub-Sovereigns
Sub-Sovereign Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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

Moody's confirms City of Athens's Caa3 issuer rating; stable outlook
No Related Data.
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