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Rating Action:

Moody's confirms Fortis' holding company debt ratings with stable outlook

11 Apr 2007
Moody's confirms Fortis' holding company debt ratings with stable outlook

Fortfinlux´s guaranteed equity-linked securities upgraded to A2 from A3

London, 11 April 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service announced today that it had confirmed all holding company long-term ratings of Fortis. More specifically, the Aa3 issuer ratings of Fortis SA/NV and Fortis NV, the Aa3/A1/A2 senior/ subordinated and preferred debt ratings of the main funding holding companies (listed below) and the A2 guaranteed preferred debt rating of Fortis Hybrid Financing were confirmed. The outlook is stable for all the group's ratings. This rating action concluded the review for possible downgrade initiated on April 4, 2007.

"The rating confirmation of Fortis' parent and holding ratings reflects the limited impact in the overall credit fundamentals of the group of the recent downgrades of the banking subsidiaries due to Moody's latest refinements to its bank rating methodology" said Jose Morago, Analyst at Moody's. Fortis' main bank deposit ratings were downgraded to Aa2 from Aaa on April 11th 2007.

Commenting further, Moody's said that these rating actions are connected with the implementation of Moody's Bank Financial Strength Ratings (BFSRs) methodology and the application of Joint Default Analysis (JDA) for parental and systemic support into bank deposit and debt ratings (please see Moody's methodologies for further details) and the subsequent rating changes in the deposit ratings of Fortis' main banking subsidiaries at Aa2 (please see related press releases). The rating actions are also based on Moody's rating approach for financial conglomerates in the context of JDA implementation, please see Moody's Special Comment "Systemic Support for financial conglomerates and insurance companies and the application of JDA" for further details.

In accordance with the aforementioned methodologies, Fortis' holding company ratings reflect the combination of: (i) a baseline credit assessment of the underlying credit fundamentals of Fortis banking and insurance analytic units (ii) the specific credit benefit of Fortis as a highly integrated and diversified financial conglomerate (iii) systemic support to the banking units and any benefits attributable to the insurance operations and holding operations in the context of the high level of integration and the relevance of the group in the Benelux region .

Moody´s also upgraded Fortfinlux´s guaranteed equity-linked securities ("FRESH") rating to A2 from A3, in light to the newly revised notching guidelines for financial institutions whereby the most junior obligations are notched down from the holding´s company senior debt up to two notches with few exceptions.

The last rating action on Fortis was on April, 4 2007 when Moody's placed on review for possible downgrade all group's holding company ratings and affirmed the group's insurance ratings.

Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Fortis Group had total assets of EUR 775.2 billion and reported shareholders' equity (including minority interest) of EUR 21.6 billion as of 31 December 2006.

The following ratings were confirmed with a stable outlook:

Fortis SA/NV, Issuer Rating, Aa3

Fortis NV, Issuer Rating, Aa3

Fortis Finance NV, guaranteed senior debt, Aa3

Fortis Finance NV, guaranteed subordinated debt, A1

Fortis Hybrid Financing, guaranteed preferred debt, A2

Fortis Utrecht NV, guaranteed senior debt, Aa3

Fortis Utrecht NV, guaranteed subordinated debt, A1

Fortis Insurance NV, guaranteed senior debt, Aa3

Fortis Floating Rate Capital Funding Trust, guaranteed preferred debt, A2

Fortis Fixed Rate Quarterly Capital Funding Trust, guaranteed preferred debt, A2

Fortis Fixed Rate Annual Capital Funding Trust, guaranteed preferred debt, A2

Fortis Capital Funding LP, guaranteed preferred debt, A2

The following rating was upgraded and a stable outlook assigned:

Fortfinlux S.A., guaranteed equity linked securities, A2 from A3

London
Simon Harris
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Jose Morago
Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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