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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades ACOM's ratings to Ba3; assigns negative outlook

 The document has been translated in other languages

Global Credit Research - 29 Mar 2011

Tokyo, March 29, 2011 -- Moody's Japan K.K. has downgraded the long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings of ACOM Co., Ltd. to Ba3 from Baa3. The ratings outlook is negative.

This rating action concludes the review for possible downgrade initiated on December 14, 2010.

RATING RATIONALE

The rating downgrade reflects Moody's growing concerns regarding the deterioration in the operating environment triggered by the bankruptcy of Takefuji Corporation. In Moody's view, the Takefuji's bankruptcy will undermine ACOM'S current risk tolerance for rising overpaid-interest claims by the overlap in customers with Takefuji.

In addition, there are still uncertainties regarding future claims. In Moody's view, the company has sufficient reserves (risk coverage) to absorb overpaid interest-related losses for at least another year. However, the risk coverage thereafter will be inadequate to cover any other losses or support the current rating. ACOM will need a substantial amount of time to stabilize its bottom-line profits and to replenish capital.

The downgrade also reflects Moody's re-consideration of the support from ACOM's parent company, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), as well as the concern that the persistent and severe operating environment will result in further deterioration in ACOM's operating franchise and operating revenues and profits for the foreseeable future.

Although ACOM's funding environment has not been very pressured, the company has increasingly relied on the members of its parent banking group, mainly subsidiary banks The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank (MUTB).

But such persistent deterioration in the operating environment and negative pressure on ACOM's financial fundamentals could result in an additional burden on the parent and undermine MUFG's ability to provide the same high level of support.

In Moody's view, incorporating a high support level into ACOM's ratings would be unwarranted because of the lack of tangible evidence of support, such as a guarantee or keep-well letter from MUFG -- other than ACOM's consolidated status and business integration with MUFG, specifically in the guarantee business.

The ratings outlook is negative, due to the considerable uncertainty in the outlook for the company, as well as concerns that the stabilization of operations may be further delayed if overpaid interest claim payouts remain high.

Downward pressure could result if (1) the high losses related to overpaid-interest do not decline and the company is unable to stabilize revenue and operating profits by FYE 3/2013; or 2) balance sheet liquidity declines because of increased refinancing risk.

Rating pressure will emerge if ACOM's cash, undrawn committed bank lines, and expected operating cash flow are insufficient to cover its maturing debt and overpaid interest claims over the next 12 months.

A change in the parent banking group's willingness to provide support would also have a material negative impact on ACOM's rating, and lead to a multiple-notch rating change.

The Ba3 rating outlook may revert to stable on clear signs that overpaid interest claims are finally declining, or if the company can stabilize its asset base, generate revenue growth, and improve its operating profitability, even if only gradually.

Moody's last rating action with respect to the ACOM was taken on December 14, 2010, when the long-term issuer and unsecured debt ratings were placed on review for possible downgrade.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were "Analyzing the Credit Risks of Finance Companies: Rating Methodology", published on September 30, 2010, and available on www.moodys.co.jp.

ACOM Co. Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, is a major Japanese consumer finance company, with consolidated assets of around JPY 1.4 trillion as of December 31, 2010.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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 so 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-party sources. 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.

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Tokyo
Naoki Morimura
Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Tokyo
Minoru Kubota
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Moody's Japan K.K.
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JOURNALISTS: (03) 5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: (03) 5408-4100

Moody's downgrades ACOM's ratings to Ba3; assigns negative outlook
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