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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Banamex deposit and debt ratings; financial strength placed on review for downgrade

 The document has been translated in other languages

03 Jun 2014

NOTE: On July 02, 2014, the press release was revised as follows: In the last sentence of the first and second paragraphs, "unaffected by today’s actions" was changed to "affirmed." Revised release follows.

Mexico, June 03, 2014 -- Moody's de Mexico has today placed on review for downgrade Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A.'s (Banamex) C- standalone bank financial strength rating (BFSR). At the same time, Moody's lowered the bank's standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA) to baa2 from baa1. Moody's also downgraded Banamex's global local currency long term deposits and senior unsecured debt ratings, and the local currency provisional (P) senior debt program ratings to A3 from A2. The local currency short-term deposit rating and the local and foreign currency short-term provisional (P) senior debt program ratings were downgraded to Prime-2, from Prime-1. The long- and short-term A3/Prime-2 foreign currency deposit ratings and the Aaa.mx/MX-1 Mexican National Scale deposits and senior unsecured debt ratings were affirmed.

Moody's also downgraded Acciones y Valores, S.A.'s (Accival) long- and short-term global local currency issuer ratings to A3/Prime2; the outlook is stable. Accival's Aaa.mx/MX-1 Mexican National Scale issuer ratings were affirmed.

Except for Banamex's BFSR, which is on review for possible downgrade, the outlook on all the ratings remains stable.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A.

The following rating was placed on review for downgrade:

- Standalone bank financial strength rating of C-; baseline credit assessment lowered to baa2, from baa1

The following ratings were downgraded:

- Long term local currency deposits downgraded to A3, from A2; stable outlook

- Short term local currency deposits rating downgraded to Prime-2, from Prime-1

- Long term local currency senior debt downgraded to A3, from A2; stable outlook

- Long term local currency senior debt program downgraded to (P)A3, from (P)A2

- Short term local currency senior debt program downgraded to (P) Prime-2, from (P) Prime-1

- Short term foreign currency senior debt program downgraded to (P)Prime-2, from (P)Prime-1

The following ratings were affirmed:

- Long term foreign currency deposits of A3, stable outlook

- Short term foreign currency deposits of Prime-2

- Long term Mexican National Scale deposits of Aaa.mx; stable outlook

- Short term Mexican National Scale deposits of MX-1

- Long term Mexican National Scale senior unsecured debt of Aaa.mx; stable outlook

- Short term Mexican National Scale senior unsecured debt of MX-1

- Long term Mexican National Scale senior unsecured debt program rating of Aaa.mx

Acciones y Valores, S.A.

The following ratings were downgraded:

- Long term local currency issuer downgraded to A3, from A2; stable outlook

- Short term local currency issuer downgraded to Prime-2, from Prime-1

The following ratings were affirmed:

- Long term Mexican National Scale issuer rating of Aaa.mx, stable outlook

- Short term Mexican National Scale issuer rating of MX-1

RATINGS RATIONALE

LOWERING OF STANDALONE BASELINE CREDIT ASSESSMENT AND REVIEW FOR DOWNGRADE OF STANDALONE BANK FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING

In lowering Banamex's standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA) to baa2 from baa1, and placing the C- standalone bank financial strength rating on review for downgrade, Moody's took into account the uncertainty surrounding Banamex's risk profile that derives from a number of ongoing investigations and reviews by federal and financial authorities both in Mexico and the U.S, as well as Citigroup's and Banamex's internal reviews.

The rating actions reflect the severity of the fraud revealed in March and the subsequent revelations about the deficiencies in Banamex's risk management and auditing functions that permitted this fraud to occur. Along with dismissal of senior local Banamex staff, these disclosures signal that structural and cultural risk management and governance issues might be broader than initially thought, and generate concerns that other lines of business may be affected as well. Moody's believes there is risk that additional negative developments could lead to new charges to earnings or capital, while the resulting damage to the company's reputation may result in a loss of business and reduced profitability.

Moody's review will focus on the outcome of the ongoing investigations and assess the impact on the bank's intrinsic strength, including its risk profile, brand name and market perception, business potential, and market positioning, among others.

Banamex faces the difficult task of successfully executing an overhaul of its risk management and auditing functions. This entails strengthening of controls and monitoring, as well as structural changes to its risk measurement and process automation to bring them in line with Citigroup's global practices. It will take time to fully implement these changes in governance, controls and procedures, and for them to effectively permeate the organization.

In light of these developments and challenges, Moody's concluded that a baa1 intrinsic credit strength assessment was no longer appropriate for Banamex and so the BCA was lowered to baa2.

The baa2 BCA continues to reflect a number of important credit strengths, including strong financial metrics, particularly in terms of capitalization and asset quality; good earnings generation capacity that derives from the bank's large and well diversified Mexican franchise; and ample access to stable core deposits that supports high margins.

DOWNGRADE OF LOCAL CURRENCY DEPOSITS RATINGS TO A3 WITH STABLE OUTLOOK

The global local currency deposit rating was downgraded by one notch to A3, reflecting the lowering of our assessment of the bank's intrinsic strength to baa2. Banamex's A3 deposit rating incorporates two notches of uplift derived from our assumptions regarding the probability of systemic support from the Mexican government.

Moody's assigns a high probability of systemic support to Banamex in case of stress given the bank's important role as a deposit-taker and lender in Mexico, with market shares of around 17%, as of 1Q2014. Even though Banamex is an important subsidiary for Citigroup, contributing around 17% of the group's revenues, the A3 local currency deposits rating assigned to the Mexican subsidiary incorporates no assumption of group or parental support as Citibank, N.A.'s BCA is the same as Banamex's.

The outlook on the debt and deposit ratings remains stable because even if Banamex's standalone ratings weaken further, its debt and deposit ratings are expected to remain at A3 due to systemic support.

RATINGS ON ACCIVAL

Accival's local currency issuer ratings were downgraded one notch to A3/Prime-2, reflecting the downgrade of Banamex's long-term global local currency deposit rating to A3. The stable outlook on Accival's ratings reflects the stable outlook on Banamex's local currency deposits rating.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Global Banks published in May 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com.mx for a copy of this methodology.

The period of time covered in the financial information used to determine Banamex's rating is between 01 Jan 2009 and 31 Mar 2014 (source: Moody's, Issuers' financial statements, CNBV and Banxico).

The sources and items of information used to determine the rating include 2013 and 2014 interim financial statements (source: Moody's and Issuers' financial statements); year-end 2012 and 2013 audited financial statements (source: Moody's and Issuers' annual audited financial statements); information on market position (source: CNBV); regulatory capital information (source: Banxico).

Moody's National Scale Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".mx" for México. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale ratings, please refer to Moody's Rating Methodology published in October 2012 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings".

Banamex is headquartered in Mexico City. As of 31 March 2014, the bank reported Mx$1,142 billion in assets (source: Issuers' financial statements).

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity prior to public dissemination.

A general listing of the sources of information used in the rating process, and the structure and voting process for the rating committees responsible for the assignment and monitoring of ratings can be found in the Disclosure tab in www.moodys.com.mx.

The date of the last Credit Rating Action was 05 Mar 2014.

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.mx.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

This Rating is subject to upgrade or downgrade based on future changes in the financial condition of the Issuer/Security, and said modifications will be made without Moody's de México S.A. de C.V accepting any liability as a result.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entity, obligation or credit satisfactory for the purposes of issuing a rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a 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.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on www.moodys.com.mx for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.mx for the last rating action and the rating history. The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's 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 our website www.moodys.com.mx for further information.

Please see www.moodys.com.mx for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

The ratings issued by Moody's de Mexico are opinions regarding the credit quality of securities and/or their issuers and not a recommendation to invest in any such security and/or issuer.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com.mx for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

David Olivares Villagomez
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V
Ave. Paseo de las Palmas
No. 405 - 502
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
Mexico, DF 11000
Mexico
JOURNALISTS: 001-888-779-5833
SUBSCRIBERS:52-55-1253-5700

Maria Celina Vansetti-Hutchins
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's de Mexico S.A. de C.V
Ave. Paseo de las Palmas
No. 405 - 502
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
Mexico, DF 11000
Mexico
JOURNALISTS: 001-888-779-5833
SUBSCRIBERS:52-55-1253-5700

Moody's downgrades Banamex deposit and debt ratings; financial strength placed on review for downgrade
No Related Data.
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