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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Amagerbanken to Baa2/D-; negative outlook

26 Feb 2009

London, 26 February 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service today downgraded the bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of Amagerbanken A/S to D- from C-. The bank's long-term deposit rating was downgraded to Baa2. The short-term deposit rating of Prime-2 was affirmed. The outlook on the BFSR and long-term deposit rating is negative.

The downgrades were prompted by Moody's view that Amagerbanken's financial strength has weakened following a rapid deterioration in its asset quality and that further weakening is likely. The scale of deterioration has been more pronounced than Moody's had anticipated at the time of the previous rating action in November when the BFSR and the deposit rating were downgraded to C- and A3, respectively.

The downgrade of the BFSR to D- takes account of the further decline in Amagerbanken's profitability and pressure on its capital adequacy. Moody's believes, based on its loss expectations for the bank's loan portfolio, that capital could potentially erode to levels consistent with a BFSR in the D range. As a result of adverse developments in its property and investment credit exposures, the bank increased loan loss provisions significantly in the fourth quarter of 2008. Problem loans (defined as individually impaired loans) accounted for 4.9% of gross loans and guarantees at the end of 2008, in comparison with about 1% at end-2007.

Amagerbanken continues to display a high exposure to the Danish real estate sector, which has experienced challenging conditions since mid-2008. With property finance accounting for 36% of the bank's total lending at end-2008, the portfolio exhibits significant concentration risk. In light of current conditions, Moody's has concerns about the viability of the bank's business model related to property finance given the adverse developments in this sector. In addition, about 10% of loans are investment credits, which are also likely to remain under pressure given the downturn in the markets.

As regards the bank's capitalisation, its solvency ratio was 10.3% at year-end 2008, which remains above the regulatory minimum requirement of 8%. However, Moody's cautions that any increase in credit risk could exert additional pressure on capitalisation. The rating agency also notes that the individual solvency requirement which is set by the board of directors has not been published and could be higher than the regulatory minimum.

Amagerbanken's Baa2 long-term deposit rating incorporates a four-notch uplift from the bank's Ba3 Baseline Credit Assessment (the measure of its standalone financial strength that maps from its D- BFSR). This takes into account Moody's expectation that systemic support for Amagerbanken would be forthcoming if needed including the measures available under the state company Finansiel Stabilitet established by the Danish government.

The negative outlook on Amagerbanken's ratings reflects Moody's concern that the bank's credit quality may continue to deteriorate further, especially given the adverse developments in the property sector in Denmark and the continuing downturn in the securities market. Moody's therefore believes that Amagerbanken's profitability will continue to face increasing challenges, which could weigh on its solvency measures.

Moody's last rating action on Amagerbanken was on 4 November 2008, when the BFSR was downgraded to C- from C. At the same time, the bank's long-term deposit rating was downgraded to A3 from A1 and the short-term deposit rating to Prime-2 from Prime-1. The outlook on the BFSR and long-term rating remained negative.

The principal methodologies used in rating Amagerbanken are "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology" and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology", which can be found at www.moodys.com in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings Methodologies subdirectory. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating Amagerbanken can also be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.

Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Amagerbanken reported total assets of DKK35.7 billion (EUR4.8 billion) at end--December 2008.

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

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

Moody's downgrades Amagerbanken to Baa2/D-; negative outlook
No Related Data.
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