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18 Jul 2008
Moody's downgrades Natixis' ratings to Aa3, stable; C BFSR assigned a negative outlook
CNCE and BFBP's ratings also downgraded to Aa3, stable; their BFSRs are downgraded to C+, stable
London, 18 July 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service today downgraded to Aa3 with a stable
outlook, from Aa2, the deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings
of Natixis. Moody's also assigned a negative outlook to Natixis'
C Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR). The bank's short-term
P-1 deposit rating is unchanged.
Additionally, Moody's downgraded to Aa3 with a stable outlook,
from Aa2, the deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of Caisse
Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne (CNCE) and of Banque Federale des
Banques Populaires (BFBP). Their respective BFSRs were also downgraded
to C+ with a stable outlook, from B-. Their P-1
ratings are unchanged.
As part of this rating action, Moody's downgraded to Aa3 with
a stable outlook, from Aa2, the deposit and senior unsecured
debt ratings of Credit Foncier de France; its P-1 short-term
rating and C BFSR are unchanged. Locindus' and Banque Palatine's
Aa3 deposit ratings were placed on review for possible downgrade.
The P-1 short-term ratings and C BFSR of Locindus and the
P-1 short-term ratings and C- BFSR of Banque Palatine
were affirmed with stable outlooks.
Commenting on the negative outlook assigned to Natixis' BFSR of
C, Moody's said that it incorporates (i) the scope for additional
pressure on profitability and efficiency indicators from possible further
write-downs and provisions related to structured products and monoline
exposures; (ii) some uncertainty around the scope and timely implementation
of the bank's new orientations; and (iii) a deterioration of the
bank's franchise. In this context, Moody's noted that
the recapitalisation of Euro 3.7 billion should provide additional
loss absorption capacity of approximately Euro 2 billion in the current
BFSR rating category. This is in addition to the Euro 1.5
billion pre-tax write-downs announced by the bank.
Moody's also commented that it viewed positively (i) Natixis' commitment
to maintain a Tier 1 ratio of at least 8.5%; an element
fully factored in the bank's BFSR of C; and (ii) the refocus of the
bank's activities and its apparent lower risk appetite.
Going forward, a reversal of the bank's negative outlook to
stable would be predicated by evidence that the implementation of the
bank's strategy restores Natixis' profitability to historical levels and
by risk reduction in vulnerable portfolios as well as in trading activities.
Very high parental support - evidenced by CNCE and BFBP's
capital contribution - and systemic support continue to be factored
into Natixis' Aa3 deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings,
in spite of the bank's downgrade, said Moody's.
The downgrade to Aa3 of Natixis' deposit and senior unsecured debt
ratings is a consequence of its parents' own deposit and debt ratings
being lowered to Aa3, due to their weakened financial strength.
Focusing on the downgrade of CNCE and of BFBP's respective BFSRs
to C+ from B-, Moody's said that Natixis'
significantly reduced contribution to the net profit of both mutualist
Groups is a key rating migration driver. Regarding Groupe Banque
Populaire, Moody's noted that its results are significantly
reliant on the performance of Natixis, as it is the main subsidiary
of BFBP. Groupe Caisse d'Epargne's results are also
impaired by the poor performance of Natixis, even if its earnings
are more diversified. In addition, Groupe Caisse d'Epargne's
earnings are affected by a weaker retail banking activity and its reorganisation.
In view of the limited growth opportunities offered by the French domestic
retail market and of the difficulties incurred by Natixis, both
Groups are being challenged to rethink their business model, commented
Moody's. An upgrade of each Group's BFSR, going forward,
will be predicated by higher profitability levels and greater efficiency.
A further BFSR downgrade could be triggered by substantial additional
subsidiary asset impairments and capital requirements, and a significant
slow-down in the Groups' retail banking performance.
The downgrade to Aa3 of Credit Foncier de France's deposit and senior
unsecured debt ratings reflects its status as an affiliate of CNCE as
well as its high level of integration within the Group. Moody's
believes that a similar one-notch downgrade of the deposit ratings
of Locindus and Banque Palatine is possible, but has placed those
ratings on review for possible downgrade to consider the extent to which
the role, integration and strategic importance of these two affiliated
entities has increased within the Groupe Caisse d'Epargne.
To the extent it has, this could increase Moody's view of the likelihood
of Group support for these entities, leading to an alignment of
their deposit ratings with those of other Group affiliates.
The following banks' ratings were downgraded by one notch,
with stable outlooks assigned:
- Natixis' deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings to Aa3;
subordinated debt to A1; "TSS" to A2
- Natixis Financial Products Inc's outstanding debt guaranteed
by Natixis to Aa3
- Natixis Structured Products Limited's outstanding debt
guaranteed by Natixis to Aa3
- NBP Capital Trust I's preferred stock rating to A2
- NBP Preferred Capital I, LLC's preferred stock to
- NBP Capital Trust III's preferred stock to A2
- NBP Preferred Capital III, LLC's preferred stock to A2
- Natexis AMBS Company LLC's preferred stock to A2
- Banque Federale des Banque Populaire's (BFBP) deposit and
senior unsecured debt ratings to Aa3; subordinated debt to A1;
BFSR to C+
- Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne's (CNCE) deposit
and senior unsecured debt ratings to Aa3; subordinated debt to A1;
"TSS" to A2; BFSR to C+
- Credit Foncier de France' deposit and senior unsecured
debt ratings to Aa3
The following banks' ratings were placed on review for possible
- Banque Palatine's Aa3 long-term deposit rating
- Locindus' Aa3 long-term deposit rating
The following bank rating outlook was changed:
- The outlook on Natixis' C BFSR was changed to negative
The following bank ratings were unchanged:
- The P-1 ratings of Natixis and of its issuing vehicles
that issue rated short-term debt, of CNCE, BFBP,
CFF, Locindus and Banque Palatine
- The C and C- BFSR ratings of respectively Locindus and
The following specific entities or debt categories are not covered by
this press release: Coface, as well as covered bonds and "obligations
foncieres" issued, as the case may be, by Banques Populaires
Covered Bonds, GCE Covered Bonds, or Credit Foncier de France
Based in Paris, Natixis posted audited, consolidated assets
of Euro 520 billion and a net profit, Group share, of Euro
1.1 billion at end-2007. Its Tier 1 capital ratio
stood at 8.3% (Basel 1) at end-2007 and at 8.4%
(Basel 2) at Q1-08, including hybrid issues made in April
Based in Paris, Groupe Caisse d'Epargne posted audited,
consolidated assets of Euro 601.4 billion and a net profit,
Group share, of Euro 1.4 billion at end-2007.
Its Tier 1 capital ratio stood at 8.75%(Basel 1) at end-2007.
Based in Paris, Groupe Banque Populaire posted audited, consolidated
assets of Euro 348.9 billion and a net profit, Group share,
of Euro 1.1 billion. Its Tier 1 capital ratio stood at 9.1%
(Basel 1) at end-2007.
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
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