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Announcement:

Moody's confirms Mizuho Securities' A2/Prime-1 ratings

 The document has been translated in other languages

24 Nov 2011

Tokyo, November 24, 2011 -- Moody's Japan K.K. has confirmed the A2 long-term ratings and the prime-1 short-term ratings of Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd, Mizuho International plc, and Mizuho Securities USA Inc.

The outlook on the long-term ratings is stable.

This rating action concludes the review for downgrade initiated on August 24, 2011.

RATING RATIONALE

The rating action is based on: 1) the confirmation of the ratings of its parent bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. (A1 deposit and Prime-1 short-term), and 2) Moody's view that MHSC, Mizuho International plc, and Mizuho Securities USA Inc are strategically important subsidiaries of Mizuho Corporate Bank, and thus are very likely to benefit from parental support in the event of stress.

Under the Medium-term Management Policy announced in May 2010, Mizuho Financial Group, Inc aims to further accelerate the co-ordination between Mizuho Corporate Bank and MHSC, and the securities business is regarded as an integral part of the group's growth strategy.

MHSC will merge with Mizuho Investors Securities Co, Ltd, another securities subsidiary within the group, during the second half of fiscal 2012. A newly created merged entity will become a full-line securities arm of the bank. Also, during 2013, Mizuho Bank (retail banking arm of Mizuho Financial Group) and Mizuho Corporate Bank (corporate banking arm of MHFG) will merge into one banking institution.

The strategic importance of MHSC is also demonstrated by the explicit support provided by Mizuho Corporate Bank in the form of a keep-well agreement. The provision of the keep-well agreement and commitments in it by the parent bank to maintain majority ownership and provide liquidity support are further significant factors underpinning Moody's assessment of the strength of that support.

On the other hand, Moody's has lowered its assessment of MHSC's stand-alone credit profile. This is based on our view that the profitability of MHSC will remain under pressure due to the persistently challenging nature of the operating environment for wholesale securities businesses in Japan and globally, and severe competition in the domestic retail market.

MHSC reported its fourth consecutive quarterly loss of JPY18.2 billion in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, mainly due to weaknesses in its capital-market activities and domestic retail business.

To cope with the difficult operating environment, MHSC is implementing restructuring measures that include the reduction of approximately 700 employees (a 10% reduction compared to the beginning of the fiscal year), cuts to executive remuneration, etc. Also, the elimination of redundancies through the merger with MHIS is expected.

While these cost reductions may help improve its cost structure, they alone will not be sufficient to offset the further decline in top line revenues.

The stable ratings outlook reflects Moody's expectation that Mizuho Corporate Bank will continue to provide a high level of support over the medium term, and in line with the stable rating outlook of the bank itself.

Positive rating pressure could arise in the event of (1) an upgrade to Mizuho Corporate Bank's rating, or (2) the bank's provision of a stronger level of credit enhancement such as guarantee, or 3) an improvement in MHSC's standalone credit profile.

Conversely, negative rating pressure could emerge if there is a (1) reduction in these entities' strategic importance to Mizuho Corporate Bank, or (2) a termination of the keep-well letter, or an amendment on terms unfavorable to MHSC, or (3) a downgrade of the bank's ratings, or 4) a decline in MHSC's standalone credit profile due to continued loss operations.

The following ratings were confirmed:

Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.

Senior Unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A2

Other Short-term debt rating (foreign currency): (P)Prime-1

Mizuho International plc

Senior Unsecured debt rating (foreign currency): A2

Senior Unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A2

Other Short-term debt rating (foreign currency): (P)Prime-1

Mizuho Securities USA Inc.

Senior Unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (domestic currency): (P)A2

Other Short-term debt rating (domestic currency): (P)Prime-1

The principal methodology used in these ratings was "Global Securities Industry Methodology" published on September 30, 2010, and available on www.moodys.co.jp.

Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is one of the largest securities companies in Japan. It is owned by Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. which is one of the largest banks in Japan. Its major subsidiaries include Mizuho International plc and Mizuho Securities USA Inc.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The Global Scale Credit Ratings on this press release that are issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU are endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Ltd., One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E 14 5FA, UK, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that has issued a particular Credit Rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings, public information, confidential and proprietary Moody's information.

Measures taken to ensure the quality of this information include use of public information, reviews by a third party and verification by the lead analyst.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the issuer or obligations satisfactory for the purposes of maintaining a credit rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures to ensure that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third parties. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

Credit ratings are Moody's current opinions of the relative future credit risk of entities, credit commitments, or debt or debt-like securities. Moody's defines credit risk as the risk that an entity may not meet its contractual, financial obligations as they come due and any estimated financial loss in the event of default. Credit ratings do not address any other risk, including but not limited to: liquidity risk, market value risk, or price volatility. Credit ratings do not constitute investment or financial advice, and credit ratings are not recommendations to purchase, sell, or hold particular securities. No warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose of any such rating or other opinion or information is given or made by Moody's in any form or manner whatsoever. The credit risk of an issuer or its obligations is assessed based on information received from the issuer or from public sources. Moody's may change the rating when it deems necessary. Moody's may also withdraw the rating due to insufficient information, or for other reasons.

Moody's Japan K.K. is a credit rating agency registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and its registration number is FSA Commissioner

(Ratings) No. 2. The Financial Services Agency has not imposed any supervisory measures on Moody's Japan K.K. in the past year.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on the Moody's website for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on the Moody's website for further information.

Please see the Credit Policy page on the Moody's website for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Maki Hanatate
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
Japan
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Stephen Long
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Japan K.K.
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
Japan
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Moody's confirms Mizuho Securities' A2/Prime-1 ratings
No Related Data.
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