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Announcement:

Moody's confirms Mizuho's ratings

 The document has been translated in other languages

24 Nov 2011

Tokyo, November 24, 2011 -- Moody's Japan K.K. has today confirmed the Prime-1 rating of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. and all the long-term ratings of its three subsidiary banks: Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., and Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd. (together, the "Mizuho banks") and Trust & Custody Services Bank, Ltd.

Moody's also affirmed Trust & Custody Services Bank's C BFSR and the Prime-1 ratings for Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking and Trust & Custody Services Bank.

At the same time, Moody's upgraded to C- from D+ the standalone bank financial strength ratings (BFSR) and adjusted to Baa1 from Baa3 the Baseline Credit Assessments for the Mizuho banks (Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Mizuho Trust & Banking).

Moody's also upgraded the preferred stock ratings of preferred securities issued by Mizuho Financial Group's subsidiaries to Ba2 (hyb) from B1 (hyb) due to the positive adjustment of the Mizuho banks' Baseline Credit Assessments.

The outlook is stable for all the ratings of Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking and Trust & Custody Services Bank.

These actions conclude the rating review of the affected banks initiated on August 24, 2011. The confirmation of the Group's debt and deposit ratings combined with the positive adjustment of the Mizuho banks' Baseline Credit Assessment brings these ratings in line with the guidelines expressed in Moody's Special Comment "Japanese Bank Ratings Increasingly Constrained by the Government's Rating", August 2011. These expressed our expectation that systemic uplift for the banks in Japan's three "Megabank" groups would normally be limited to three notches above their standalone ratings (or Baseline Credit Assessments). The Mizuho banks had been a temporary outlier to these guidelines pending Moody's review of the Bank Financial Strength Ratings.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The upgrade of the Mizuho banks' BFSR and positive adjustment of the Baseline Credit Assessment reflects Moody's opinion that the likelihood that they would need external capital support has substantially declined from two years ago, and when their BFSRs were lowered to D+.

This re-assessment is underpinned by the substantially stronger state of their core capital, a result in turn of two series of common stock issues (approximately JPY1.3 trillion) and retained earnings of approximately JPY0.4 trillion during the past two fiscal years since the downgrade in April 2009.

Consequently, Mizuho Financial Group's Tier 1 ratio improved to 11.89% at end-September, 2011 from 6.37% at end-March, 2009. Furthermore, the quality of Mizuho Financial Group's capital is now much stronger than it was in the past. Stripping out preferred stocks and preferred securities, its common equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio was slightly less than 8% at end-September, 2011 compared to approximately 7% at end-September 2010. Its liquidity remains solid, as shown by its consolidated loan-to-deposit ratio of slightly less than 70% at end-September, 2011, slightly weaker than its Japanese Mega Bank peer but strong compared to other major global banks.

The upgrade also considers the relative isolation of Japanese banks -- including Mizuho Financial Group -- from the unfolding sovereign debt crisis in Europe. At end-September 2011, Mizuho Financial Group's exposures in Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain amounted to approximately USD4.18 billion or just only 1.1% of its overseas exposures, and most exposures were towards large blue-chip companies. It has no exposure to these countries' government bonds. Although there might be an indirect impact of the European crisis depending on the development going forward, it would be very much limited when compared with other major global banks in Europe and US. Within Japan, it also considers the limited negative impact of the March 11 earthquake and Mizuho Bank's information technology systems failures after the earthquake. For the six months ending September 2011, consolidated direct earthquake-related costs were approximately JPY6.5 billion - mostly in credit costs - while systems failures losses were less than JPY1 billion.

For the first half of FYE3/2012, Mizuho Financial Group posted JPY254.6 billion of consolidated net income and maintained its original target of full-year consolidated net income of JPY460 billion. The latter level represents a significant recovery from the net losses of JPY588.8 billion in FYE3/2009 because of a recovery in earnings and a reduction in credit expenses. Moody's base case expectation is that the Group can achieve its stated full-year earnings target.

The upgrade also factors in possible benefits from the re-organization of the banks into one entity in 2013, and which the Group expects will result in net cost reductions and increased revenue of JPY100 billion. While consummating the merger around the end of the first half of fiscal 2013, Mizuho Financial Group plans to also implement its "one bank" structure substantively from April 2012 in order to achieve synergies in advance of the actual merger.

Though the costs tied to restructuring and system implementation will lower the banks' profitability in the short term, Moody's considers this re-organization as credit positive for Mizuho Financial Group, given that it would reduce operating expenses due to elimination of replications in shared functions. It will also offer more effective use of economic/regulatory capital and stronger liquidity sources at the group level.

Preferred securities issued by MHFG's overseas special purpose corporations -- which are rated four notches below Mizuho banks' Baseline Credit Assessments, including one notch for structural subordination at the holding company level -- were upgraded to Ba2 (hyb) from B1 (hyb) in line with the upgrade of Mizuho banks' BFSR to C- (equivalent to Baseline Credit Assessment of Baa1).

The three notches of support uplift for Mizuho banks reflect our view that there remains a very high probability of systemic support for the combined banking operations of Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Corporate Bank, and Mizuho Trust & Banking, given the Group's importance to the Japanese economy/financial markets and the low substitutability of those banks. Mizuho Financial Group's systemic importance is also evidenced by its inclusion in the provisional list of 29 global systemically important financial institutions (G-SIFIs) announced by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on November 4, 2011.

The stable outlook reflects the consideration that Mizuho Financial Group's capital is capable of absorbing downward pressure, according to Moody's stress testing framework, allowing the Mizuho banks to maintain a Tier 1 ratio of 10%, or above, even under an adverse scenario. Also, Mizuho Financial Group's strong liquidity means that it is relatively well protected against confidence shocks in what is likely to continue to be a volatile global financial environment.

Downward pressure on the ratings would include 1) signs that the Group's Tier 1 ratio could decline below 10% due to a more difficult credit environment for its major businesses (SME, large corporate lending inside and outside Japan, and securities business), 2) a decline in the Nikkei stock index to below JPY7,000 which would lead to an increase in the Group's realized/unrealized losses on its securities holdings of approximately JPY500 billion, 3) further earnings pressure such as a decline in pre-provision profits or a rise in credit costs that pushed the Group into a bottom line loss, and 4) a downgrade of the Japan sovereign rating.

Given the two notch uplift of the Baseline Credit Assessment and the fact that there is now three notches of systemic uplift in line with our guidelines, upward pressure on the ratings is unlikely. For the Mizuho banks' ratings to be eventually upgraded, Moody's considers the following factors as crucial: 1) A further improvement in the quality of MHFG's Tier 1 capital such that the CET1 ratio rises above 8% on a sustained basis, 2) an improvement in profitability such that there is a sustainable increase in the ratio of consolidated net income to average risk-weighted assets to above 1.0%, and 3) the ongoing disposal of highly volatile risk assets, such as Japanese equities.

List of the affected ratings are as follows:

Upgraded the rating

Mizuho Capital Investment (USD) 1 Limited

Preferred stock non-cumulative (foreign currency): to Ba2 (hyb) from B1 (hyb)

Mizuho Capital Investment (USD) 2 Limited

Preferred stock non-cumulative (foreign currency): to Ba2 (hyb) from B1 (hyb)

Mizuho Capital Investment (JPY) 5 Limited

Preferred stock non-cumulative (foreign currency): to Ba2 (hyb) from B1 (hyb)

Mizuho Capital Investment (JPY) 6 Limited

Preferred stock non-cumulative (foreign currency): to (P)Ba2 from (P)B1

Mizuho Capital Investment (JPY) 7 Limited

Preferred stock non-cumulative (foreign currency): to (P)Ba2 from (P)B1

Confirmed the rating

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.

Commercial Paper (domestic currency): Prime-1

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Long-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): A1

Long-term issuer rating: A1

Senior unsecured debt rating (domestic currency): A1

Senior subordinated debt rating (domestic currency): A2

Senior subordinated shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A2

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

Junior subordinated shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A3

Junior subordinated Medium Term Note Program rating (domestic currency): (P)A3

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.

Long-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): A1

Long-term issuer rating: A1

Senior unsecured debt rating (domestic currency): A1

Senior unsecured shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A1

Senior unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A1

Senior subordinated debt rating (domestic currency): A2

Senior subordinated shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A2

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

Junior subordinated shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A3

Junior subordinated Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A3

Mizuho Corporate Asia (HK) Limited

Senior unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A1

Mizuho Corporate Bank Nederland N.V.

Senior unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A1

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., Hong Kong Branch

Long-term Deposit Note/CD Program (domestic currency): A1

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., Paris Branch

Long-term bank deposit rating (foreign currency): A1

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., Sydney Branch

Senior unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A1

Mizuho Finance (Aruba) A.E.C.

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

Junior subordinated debt rating (foreign currency): A3 (hyb)

Junior subordinated Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A3

Mizuho Finance (Cayman) Limited

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

Junior subordinated debt rating (foreign currency): A3 (hyb)

Junior subordinated Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A3

Mizuho Finance (Curacao) N.V.

Senior unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A1

Senior subordinated debt rating (foreign currency): A2

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

Junior subordinated Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A3

Mizuho Financial Group (Cayman) Limited

Senior subordinated debt rating (foreign currency): A2

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

Junior subordinated Medium Term Note Program rating (foreign currency): (P)A3

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Long-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): A1

Senior unsecured Medium Term Note Program rating (domestic currency): (P)A1

Senior subordinated debt rating (domestic currency): A2

Senior subordinated shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A2

Junior subordinated shelf registration rating (domestic currency): (P)A3

Mizuho TB (Aruba) A.E.C.

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

Trust & Custody Services Bank, Ltd.

Long-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): A1

Affirmed the rating

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

Short-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): Prime-1

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.

Short-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): Prime-1

Mizuho Corporate Asia (HK) Limited

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

Mizuho Corporate Bank Nederland N.V.

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

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., Cayman Branch

Short-term bank deposit rating: Prime-1

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., Paris Branch

Short-term bank deposit rating (foreign currency): Prime-1

Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., Sydney Branch

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

Mizuho Funding LLC

Commercial Paper (domestic currency) : Prime-1

Mizuho Finance (Curacao) N.V.

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

Mizuho Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.

Short-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): Prime-1

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

Trust & Custody Services Bank, Ltd.

Short-term bank deposit rating (domestic and foreign currency): Prime-1

The principal methodologies used in this rating were Moody's Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology and Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology published on September 30, 2010, and available on www.moodys.co.jp.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. is one of the largest financial group in Japan with a number of enterprises operating under its umbrella: Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (a retail/middle market bank), Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. (a wholesale corporate bank), Mizuho Trust & Banking Co, Ltd. (a trust bank), Trust and Custody Services Bank Ltd. (a custodial bank), Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd. (a securities brokerage), as well as a number of other entities, which together provide a comprehensive array of financial services.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURE

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.

Tetsuya Yamamoto
Vice President - Senior Analyst
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's ratings
No Related Data.
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