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Rating Action:

Moody's downgrades Ukraine's sovereign ratings to Ca; outlook remains negative

Global Credit Research - 24 Mar 2015

New York, March 24, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded Ukraine's long-term issuer and government debt ratings to Ca from Caa3. The outlook remains negative.

The key driver of the downgrade is the likelihood of external private creditors incurring substantial losses as a result of the government's plan to restructure the majority of its outstanding Eurobonds. Also included in the restructuring is the external debt of state-guaranteed entities and selected other state-owned enterprises, and the Eurobonds issued by the capital city of Kiev.

The negative outlook reflects Moody's expectation that Ukraine's government and external debt levels will remain very high, in spite of the debt restructuring and plans to introduce reforms.

In a related rating action, Moody's also downgraded the issuer and debt ratings of the "Financing of Infrastructural Projects" (Fininpro) to Ca/(P)Ca from Caa3/(P)Caa3 and maintained the negative outlook. Fininpro's debt is fully and unconditionally guaranteed by the government of Ukraine.

Moody's also lowered Ukraine's country ceiling for long-term foreign currency debt to Caa3 from Caa2, and its country ceiling for long-term domestic currency debt and deposits to Caa2 from Caa1. Ukraine's country ceiling for foreign-currency bank deposits remains unchanged at Ca. All short-term country ceilings also remain unchanged at Not Prime (NP).

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATIONALE FOR THE DOWNGRADE OF UKRAINE'S GOVERNMENT RATINGS TO Ca

The key driver of Moody's decision to downgrade Ukraine's long-term government debt and issuer ratings to Ca is the government's plan to restructure the majority of its outstanding Eurobonds as well as other public sector external debt and the rating agency's expectation that private creditors will incur substantial economic losses as a result of the restructuring. The debt operation is intended to provide $15.3 billion of the four-year, $40 billion external financing package agreed with the IMF and other multilateral and bilateral creditors. The package was approved by the IMF Executive Board on March 11.

Although negotiations over the specific details of the restructuring are only now getting underway, Moody's believes that the likelihood of a distressed exchange, and hence a default on government debt taking place, is virtually 100%. The bonds' recovery value will be determined by the terms of the debt exchange and is currently being discussed with creditors. The terms could include a grace period on principal repayments during the term of the IMF program, a reduction in the existing bonds' current coupons, which now average 7.1%, and a haircut on the outstanding principal.

RATIONALE FOR MAINTAINING A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

The principal objective of the proposed debt exchange is to reduce the government's external debt and debt service to more manageable levels. This effort will be supported by the economic, budget/debt and monetary reforms being pursued by the new government in connection with the IMF program. These comprehensive sectoral, judicial and social reforms aim to stabilize the economy and return it to a positive growth path.

However, Ukraine's government and external debt will remain at very high levels even if these reforms are successful, and despite the lower debt levels achieved by the external debt restructuring. These solvency challenges are the key reason for maintaining a negative outlook on the government's downgraded ratings.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

Moody's would consider moving the rating outlook to stable after the debt restructuring if it were to see a sustained normalization of the geopolitical situation in Eastern Ukraine, along with improvements in the country's external liquidity position. An upgrade would likely require several additional factors to be in place, including a positive policy track record of structural reforms, improved growth prospects and positive debt dynamics.

We would downgrade Ukraine's rating if bond holders were to incur higher losses than what is captured by the Ca rating following the planned debt restructuring, or any other default by the government.

GDP per capita (PPP basis, US$): 8,651 (2013 Actual) (also known as Per Capita Income)

Real GDP growth (% change): -6.9% (2014 Actual) (also known as GDP Growth)

Inflation Rate (CPI, % change Dec/Dec): 24.5% (2014 Actual)

Gen. Gov. Financial Balance/GDP: -4.6% (2014 Actual) (also known as Fiscal Balance)

Current Account Balance/GDP: -9% (2013 Actual) (also known as External Balance)

External debt/GDP: 77.5% (2013 actual)

Level of economic development: Very Low level of economic resilience

Default history: At least one default event (on bonds and/or loans) has been recorded since 1983.

On 20 March 2015, a rating committee was called to discuss the rating of the Ukraine, Government of. The main points raised during the discussion were: The issuer has become increasingly susceptible to event risks. The outlook for post-restructuring recovery has worsened.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Sovereign Bond Ratings published in September 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

The weighting of all rating factors is described in the methodology used in this rating action, if applicable.

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.

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.

Kristin Lindow
Senior Vice President
Sovereign Risk Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Yves Lemay
Managing Director
Sovereign Risk Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's downgrades Ukraine's sovereign ratings to Ca; outlook remains negative
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