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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Generalitat de Valencia's long-term rating to A1 from Aa3; outlook negative

19 Nov 2010

Madrid, November 19, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the long-term debt rating of the Generalitat de Valencia (Valencia) to A1 from Aa3. The outlook on the rating remains negative. The short-term debt rating remains unchanged at Prime-1.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The downgrade reflects the continued deterioration in the region's financial performance in recent years and the expectation of still high financing deficits and deteriorating debt metrics in the medium term. Moody's notes the difficulties that the region has demonstrated in reducing some expenditure items, including healthcare and education, which has been reflected in a negative gross operating balance of 3% of operating revenue in 2009, a rising financing deficit that reached 15% of operating revenue in 2009 and a deterioration in its debt metrics.

"There is significant uncertainty in the capacity of the region to comply with deficit-to-GDP target established by the central government of 2.4% and 1.3% in 2010 and 2011, respectively," says Marisol Blázquez, Moody's lead analyst for Valencia, "particularly, given the region's poor track record in containing expenditure in recent years; the region exceeded the deficit limit of 1.75% of regional GDP in 2009, as evidenced in the estimated deficit of around 3%".

Moody's believes that slow economic growth in Spain will seriously constrain tax revenue growth in future, which, when coupled with the region's difficulties in containing operating expenditure, is likely to lead to continued high deficits in the medium term and an increase in its already high debt levels. In 2010, the Generalitat de Valencia has to finance a significant deficit of 18% of operating revenue, which will likely result in an increase in its net direct and indirect debt-to-operating revenue ratio to around 150% (121% in 2009). For 2011, this ratio will likely represent approximately 160% of operating revenue according to the region's initial budget, which is significantly higher than the average of 89% expected for regions rated by Moody's.

The negative rating outlook for Valencia reflects the extent of the challenges facing the region going forward, as the need to reduce its deficit in 2011 will involve large cuts to its cost base. Although Valencia has drafted a multi-year plan as part of the national effort to reduce the public deficit, Moody's believes that there is a meaningful risk that it may deviate from its targets during the implementation phase. In addition, the negative outlook reflects the uncertainty associated with the region's ability to raise money in debt markets at an affordable cost in the context of constrained market conditions.

The last rating action on Valencia was implemented on 17 December 2009, when Moody's downgraded its long-term debt rating to Aa3 from Aa2, and affirmed the negative outlook as well as the P-1 short-term rating.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were Regional and Local Governments Outside the US published in May 2008, and The Application of Joint Default Analysis to Regional and Local Governments published in December 2008.

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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 Investors Service information.

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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.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on Moodys.com 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 Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's Investors Service 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 our website www.moodys.com for further information.

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Madrid
Marisol Blazquez
Analyst
Sub-Sovereign Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Thomas Amenta
Senior Vice President
Sub-Sovereign Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Madrid
Sebastien Hay
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Sub-Sovereign Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Barbara de Braganza, 2
Madrid 28004
Spain

Moody's downgrades Generalitat de Valencia's long-term rating to A1 from Aa3; outlook negative
No Related Data.
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