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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Greek banks' senior unsecured debt ratings to C and confirms deposit ratings at Caa3

04 Sep 2015

Actions conclude review for downgrade initiated in July 2015

Limassol, September 04, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded to C the long-term senior and subordinated debt ratings of Alpha Bank AE, Eurobank Ergasias S.A., National Bank of Greece S.A., and Piraeus Bank S.A., from Caa3 and Ca, respectively. At the same time, Moody's confirmed the Caa3 long-term deposit ratings of the above mentioned banks and Attica Bank S.A., with negative outlooks. This rating action concludes the review for downgrade on Greek bank ratings, initiated in July 2015.

The downgrade of the Greek banks' debt ratings to C primarily reflects Moody's expectation that junior and senior debt holders will be bailed-in and sustain material losses as part of the upcoming recapitalisation process.

The confirmation of the banks' Caa3 deposit ratings primarily reflects the losses incurred by depositors following the previous bank holidays and on-going deposit controls. Although Moody's expects uninsured depositors to be excluded from bail-in, as indicated by a recent Eurogroup statement, the negative outlook reflects the rating agency's opinion that the recapitalisation process remains fluid and banks continue to face significant credit risks.

The Caa3 (on review for downgrade) ratings assigned to government-guaranteed debt issued by Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias, and the National Bank of Greece are not affected by today's rating action and remain under review until the review of the Greek sovereign ratings has concluded.

A full list of affected ratings is provided at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

--- BAIL-IN TO TRIGGER SIGNIFICANT LOSSES FOR JUNIOR AND SENIOR CREDITORS

The downgrade of the Greek banks' debt ratings to C primarily reflects Moody's expectation that junior and senior debt holders will be bailed-in while the banks are recapitalised. The recapitalisations will follow the conclusion of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) and Stress Tests, which are currently being conducted and which Moody's anticipates will show high loan provisioning and capital needs for all five Greek banks. Although EUR25 billion of the EUR86 billion European Stability Mechanism (ESM) support package for Greece has been earmarked for bank recapitalisations and resolutions, Moody's also notes that the Eurogroup statement of 14 August explicitly states that senior debt bondholders will be bailed-in.

While the national law implementation of the European Union's Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) establishes the principle of bail-in of unsecured creditors from 2016, Moody's considers it likely that relevant legal arrangements will be made to facilitate bail-in of debt instruments as part of the upcoming bank recapitalisations, which are targeted to take place before year-end.

In Moody's view, the deteriorating credit conditions associated with the capital controls introduced in June, in conjunction with the significant reduction in economic activity the rating agency projects will last into 2016, are exerting pressure on banks' already stressed asset quality.

Under Moody's base case scenario, the rating agency expects that significant losses for debt holders will be imposed in order to cover (1) an increase in NPLs to around 45% of gross loans (from around 36% in March 2015) and the maintenance of provisioning coverage at around 60%; (2) a deterioration in banks' earnings, which will further erode capital buffers as Moody's expects the Greek economy not to grow before 2017 (as noted in August, Moody's forecasts real GDP to decline by 2.4% in 2015 and zero growth in 2016); and (3) a reduction in the recognition of Deferred Tax Assets (DTAs), which currently exceed EUR15 billion and constitute more than half of these five banks' Tier 1 capital. Although under specific circumstances these DTAs are convertible into directly enforceable credits against the Greek State, Moody's considers that DTAs provide limited capacity to absorb losses because of the government's weak credit standing.

Whilst Moody's recognises differences amongst the five banks in their financial metrics and capacity to absorb losses, the rating agency does not consider these differences as sufficiently material to warrant differentiated debt ratings at this time, given the fluid and systemic nature of the Greek crisis.

--- DEPOSITORS EXPECTED TO BE EXCLUDED FROM BAIL-IN, BUT WILL CONTINUE TO FACE SIGNIFICANT CREDIT RISKS

The confirmation of the banks' Caa3 deposit ratings primarily reflects the losses already faced by depositors following the previous bank holidays and resulting from on-going strict capital controls.

Although the August 14 Eurogroup statement signals that Greek depositors will be excluded from bail-in, the negative outlook reflects Moody's opinion that these banks continue to face acute challenges. These include stressed funding and liquidity profiles, with the system's reliance on Eurosystem funding (ECB funding and Emergency Liquidity Assistance) exceeding EUR125 billion in July 2015 (compared with domestic private sector deposits of around EUR121 billion). Likewise, although not Moody's base case scenario, the negative outlook also captures the continued risk of Greece exiting the Eurozone and the risk that capital needs could exceed Moody's current assumptions, which could increase the risk of bail-in of uninsured depositors. The rating agency notes that the specific details of the Greek banks' recapitalisation process and bail-in remain fluid, which adds to the remaining risks faced by depositors.

As part of today's rating actions, Moody's also affirmed these banks' baseline credit assessments at ca, which reflects 1) the aforementioned acute funding, liquidity and solvency challenges; 2) the technical default on deposits due to the capital controls; and 3) a recognition that the banks will be recapitalised before year end.

INDIVIDUAL BANKS

ALPHA BANK

Moody's downgraded Alpha Bank's debt ratings to C, and confirmed the bank's deposit rating at Caa3 with a negative outlook. Under current operating conditions, Moody's expects Alpha Bank, which reported 20.4% of commercial banking system assets at year-end 2014, to face renewed asset quality pressure, which will drive a material increase in NPLs (from 34% as of March 2015). Moody's expects the bank's provisioning needs, which will be identified in the AQR and Stress Tests, to lead to material recapitalisation requirements. While at end-March the bank reported a CET1 ratio of 13.1% with total CET1 Capital of EUR7.2 billion, this included EUR3.5 billion of DTAs, which constituted around 50% of its CET1 capital, and which Moody's considers of low quality. The bank reported a total of around EUR1.2 billion of senior and subordinated debt as of March 2015.

ATTICA BANK

Moody's confirmed the Caa3 deposit ratings of Attica Bank, which reported 1% of the commercial banking sector's assets at year-end 2014. The deposit ratings carry a negative outlook reflecting renewed asset quality pressures, which will drive a material increase in NPLs (from 26% as of March 2015). Moody's expects material recapitalisation requirements for the bank, as a capital shortfall of EUR434 million has already been identified during Bank of Greece's March 2014 stress-tests, although no capital has been raised yet. As of March 2015, Attica bank reported a CET1 ratio of 6.1% with total CET1 Capital of EUR207 million, which included EUR144 million of DTAs, constituting around 70% of its CET1 capital.

EUROBANK ERGASIAS

Moody's downgraded Eurobank Ergasias's debt ratings to C, and confirmed the bank's deposit rating at Caa3 with a negative outlook. Moody's expects Eurobank, which reported 21.4% of the commercial banking sector's assets at year-end 2014, to face renewed asset quality pressure, which will drive a material increase in NPLs (from 34% as of March 2015). Moody's expects that provisioning needs, which will be identified in the AQR and Stress Tests, will lead to material recapitalisation requirements. Although the bank reported a CET1 ratio of 14.2% as of March 2015 with total CET1 Capital of EUR5.6 billion, this amount included around EUR1 billion of state preference shares and EUR4 billion of DTAs, which constituted around 70% of its CET1 capital, and which Moody's considers of low quality. The bank reported a total of EUR0.6 billion of senior and subordinated debt as of March 2015.

NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE

Moody's downgraded the National Bank of Greece's debt ratings to C, and confirmed the bank's deposit rating at Caa3 with a negative outlook. Moody's expects the bank, which reported 32% of the consolidated commercial banking sector's assets at year-end 2014, to face renewed asset quality pressure, which will drive a material increase in NPLs (from 24% as of March 2015). Moody's expects that provisioning needs, which will be identified in the AQR and Stress Tests, will lead to significant recapitalisation requirements. Although the bank reported a CET1 ratio of 12.1% with total CET-1 Capital of EUR7.8 billion, this amount included EUR1.4 billion of state preference shares while low quality DTAs constituted around 50% of its CET1 capital. Moody's considers that the monetisation of international investments, particularly its Turkish subsidiary -- which may over time partly cover the bank's recapitalisation needs -- will take time, particularly given recent emerging market volatility and planned elections in Turkey. The bank reported a total of EUR1.7 billion of senior and subordinated debt as of March 2015.

PIREAUS BANK

Moody's downgraded Piraeus Bank's debt ratings to C, and confirmed the bank's deposit rating at Caa3 with a negative outlook. The rating agency expects the bank, which reported 24.9% of the commercial banking sector's assets at year-end 2014, to face renewed asset quality pressure, which will drive a material increase in NPLs (from 39% as of March 2015). Moody's expects the bank's provisioning needs, which will be identified in the AQR and Stress Tests, to lead to material recapitalisation requirements. Although the bank reported a CET1 ratio of 11.9% with total CET-1 Capital of EUR6.7 billion, the latter included EUR4 billion of DTAs (out of which EUR3.5 billion relate to the Deferred Tax Credits (DTCs) regime), which constituted around 60% of its CET1 capital. The bank reported a total of EUR0.7 billion of senior and subordinated debt as of March 2015.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

The negative outlook indicates that upward rating pressure on these banks' deposit ratings is currently limited. Over time, deposit rating outlooks could change to stable and upward rating pressure could arise following a stabilisation of the country's macro-economic environment, combined with an improvement in banks' solvency and funding. Senior debt ratings could also be upgraded if the losses resulting from bail-in are lower than currently expected.

Greek banks' deposit ratings could be downgraded in case capital needs exceed our current expectations and uninsured depositors are also bailed-in as part of the recapitalisations. In addition, the deposit ratings could be downgraded if the rating agency considers that the risk of a potential exit from the euro area, and redenomination, increases materially.

THE SPECIFIC RATING ACTIONS IMPLEMENTED TODAY ARE AS FOLLOWS:

Issuer: Alpha Bank AE

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Long-Term Bank Deposit Ratings, Confirmed at Caa3 with a negative outlook

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

.... Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, No action -- ratings at (P)Caa3 on Review for Downgrade

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

.... Counterparty Risk Assessment Long-term, Confirmed at Caa3(cr)

.... Outlook, Changed To Negative From Review for Downgrade

Issuer: Alpha Credit Group plc

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Ca

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Alpha Group Jersey Limited

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

....Backed Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Downgraded to C(hyb), from Ca(hyb)

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Emporiki Group Finance Plc

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Caa3

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: Attica Bank S.A.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Long-Term Bank Deposit Ratings, Confirmed at Caa3 with a negative outlook

.... Counterparty Risk Assessment Long-term, Confirmed at Caa3(cr)

.... Outlook, Changed To Negative From Review for Downgrade

Issuer: Eurobank Ergasias S.A.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Long-Term Bank Deposit Ratings, Confirmed at Caa3 with a negative outlook

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

.... Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, No action -- ratings at (P)Caa3 on Review for Downgrade

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

.... Counterparty Risk Assessment Long-term, Confirmed at Caa3(cr)

.... Outlook, Changed To Negative From Review for Downgrade

Issuer: ERB Hellas (Cayman Islands) Limited

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Caa3

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: ERB Hellas Funding Limited

....Backed Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Downgraded to C(hyb), from Ca(hyb)

Issuer: ERB Hellas PLC

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Ca

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: National Bank of Greece S.A.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Long-Term Bank Deposit Ratings, Confirmed at Caa3 with a negative outlook

.....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, No action -- ratings at Caa3 on Review for Downgrade

.... Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, No action -- ratings at (P)Caa3 on Review for Downgrade

.....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Downgraded to C(hyb), from Ca(hyb)

.... Counterparty Risk Assessment Long-term, Confirmed at Caa3(cr)

.... Outlook, Changed To Negative From Review for Downgrade

Issuer: NBG Finance plc

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Ca

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

Issuer: National Bank of Greece Funding Limited

....Backed Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Downgraded to C(hyb), from Ca(hyb)

Issuer: Piraeus Bank S.A.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed at ca

.... Long-Term Bank Deposit Ratings, Confirmed at Caa3 with a negative outlook

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

.... Counterparty Risk Assessment Long-term, Confirmed at Caa3(cr), no outlook

.... Outlook, Changed To Negative From Review for Downgrade

Issuer: Piraeus Group Capital Limited

....Backed Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, Downgraded to C(hyb), from Ca(hyb)

Issuer: Piraeus Group Finance Plc

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to C, from Ca

....Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Caa3

....Backed Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Downgraded to (P)C, from (P)Ca

....Outlook, Changed To No Outlook from Rating Under Review

The short-term NP/(P)NP/NP(cr) ratings for all the banks above were not affected by today's rating action.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in March 2015. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

All banks affected by today's rating actions are headquartered in Athens, Greece:

- National Bank of Greece SA reported total consolidated assets of EUR119.3 billion as of March 2015

- Piraeus Bank SA reported total consolidated assets of EUR88.5 billion as of March 2015

- Eurobank Ergasias SA reported total consolidated assets of EUR77.5 billion as of March 2015

- Alpha Bank AE reported total consolidated assets of EUR73 billion as of March 2015

- Attica Bank SA reported total consolidated assets of EUR3.9 billion as of March 2015

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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.

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.

The following information supplements Disclosure 10 ("Information Relating to Conflicts of Interest as required by Paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(J) of SEC Rule 17g-7") in the regulatory disclosures made at the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for each credit rating as indicated:

Moody's was not paid for services other than determining a credit rating in the most recently ended fiscal year by the person(s) that paid Moody's to determine this credit rating.

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

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

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

Nondas Nicolaides
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Kanika Business Centre
319 28th October Avenue
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Sean Marion
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Kanika Business Centre
319 28th October Avenue
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's downgrades Greek banks' senior unsecured debt ratings to C and confirms deposit ratings at Caa3
No Related Data.
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MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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