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Rating Action:

Moody's places the ratings of seven Omani banks on review for downgrade

02 Apr 2020

Rating actions follow review for downgrade on Omani government ratings

Limassol, April 02, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today placed on review for downgrade the long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of seven Omani banks: Bank Muscat SAOG (Bank Muscat), HSBC Bank Oman SAOG (HBON), Bank Dhofar SAOG (Bank Dhofar), National Bank of Oman SAOG (NBO), Sohar International Bank SAOG (Sohar International), Oman Arab Bank (SAOC) (OAB) and Bank Nizwa SAOG (Bank Nizwa).

At the same time, Moody's has placed on review for downgrade the Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) and Adjusted BCA of the seven Omani banks.

These actions, which follow Moody's decision to place on review for downgrade the issuer rating of the Government of Oman, reflect the potential weakening in Omani government's capacity to support the local banks as well as the potential weakening in the standalone credit profiles of some banks.

A full list of affected ratings is at the bottom of the press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

-- REVIEWS FOR DOWNGRADE ON DEPOSIT RATINGS REFLECT POTENTIAL WEAKENING IN GOVERNMENT SUPPORT CAPACITY AND IN STANDALONE CREDIT PROFILES

Moody's says that the reviews for downgrade on the banks' deposit ratings reflects a combination of (i) the potential weakening in Oman government's fiscal capacity to support the country's banks in case of need, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the sovereign rating, and (ii) the potential weakening in standalone credit profiles of the banks amid a challenging operating environment due to low oil prices and the coronavirus outbreak, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the banks' standalone BCAs.

The review for downgrade on the Oman government's ratings reflects Oman's increased external vulnerability and government liquidity risks following the large oil price shock and the severe tightening in external financing conditions. The severity of the external shock experienced by Oman is amplified by its relatively weak institutional and governance strength which, over the past four years, have impeded fiscal and economic adjustment to lower oil prices, leaving the sovereign exposed to further and more durable shocks.

The review period, which may extend beyond the usual three-month horizon, will allow Moody's to take stock of Oman's financing needs and options, including an assessment of progress on the implementation of the government's fiscal adjustment program, and the implications for the government's debt and assets, and the economy's external stability.

Please see "Moody's places Oman's Ba2 rating under review for downgrade"; (https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_420164).

The review for downgrade on the banks' BCAs will focus on the impact of the challenging operating environment resulting principally from low oil prices and the coronavirus outbreak. Moody's expects economic growth in Oman to remain subdued. The rating agency forecasts that the non-hydrocarbon economy will contract in 2020, leading to material weakening in asset quality and profitability for the banks. Additionally, Moody's expects the constrained government finances to limit banks' access to funding and liquidity, with lower oil revenues reducing deposit inflows from the government. However, Moody's acknowledges that the banks' capitalisation will remain strong. Moody's says that its assessment of this more challenging environment could also be captured through a lower Macro Profile. Oman's current Macro Profile is 'Weak+'.

In terms of governance considerations, Moody's does not have any particular governance concern for Omani banks. The conservative regulatory framework in Oman helps support the banks' governance practices.

Details of how these drivers affect the banks ratings are given in the bank specific sections below.

-- BANK-BY-BANK SUMMARY OF ACTIONS

- Bank Muscat SAOG (Bank Muscat)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade Bank Muscat's Ba3 long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba2 long-term local currency deposit rating, and its ba2 BCA and Adjusted BCA. Bank Muscat's long-term local currency deposit rating is aligned with the rating of the Oman sovereign, while the bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on Bank Muscat's Ba2 long-term local currency deposit rating reflects (i) the potential weakening in Omani government's fiscal capacity to support the bank in case of need, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the sovereign rating, and (ii) the review for downgrade on the bank's BCA, driven both by potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment and the constraint that the Ba2 sovereign rating applies on the bank's standalone profile (BCA).

The absence of government support uplift for the bank's local currency deposit rating, despite Moody's assessment of a 'very high' likelihood of government support in case of need, reflects the continued positioning of the bank's BCA at the same level as the sovereign rating.

The review for downgrade on the bank's ba2 BCA reflects (i) the potential weakening of the bank's standalone credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as well as (ii) continued constraint from the sovereign's Ba2 rating.

Bank Muscat's financial profile in the rating agency's scorecard is ba1, but Moody's constrains the bank's BCA at ba2 (in line with the Oman sovereign rating) given the bank's high exposure to the Omani sovereign and operating environment, where 96% of its assets are located and 96% of its earnings are generated. The ba1 financial profile reflects Bank Muscat's solid asset quality, high capital (17.1% tangible common equity/risk-weighted assets at end-2019) as well as its healthy profitability (1.5% net income/tangible assets) underpinned by a dominant domestic franchise (over 36% domestic asset market share). The bank's financial fundamentals also exhibit stable funding driven by its established deposit gathering franchise, along with sound liquidity.

- HSBC Bank Oman SAOG (HBON)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade HBON's Ba3 long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba1 long-term local currency deposit rating, its ba1 Adjusted BCA, and its ba2 BCA. HBON's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on HBON's Ba1 long-term local currency deposit rating reflects the potential weakening of the bank's ba2 BCA due to both potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, and the constraint that the Ba2 sovereign rating applies on the bank's standalone profile. The absence of government support uplift for the bank's deposit rating, despite Moody's assessment of a 'high' likelihood of government support in case of need, reflects the positioning of the bank's Adjusted BCA above the sovereign rating.

The review for downgrade on the bank's ba1 Adjusted BCA reflects the potential weakening of the bank's ba2 BCA. HBON's Adjusted BCA benefits form one notch of uplift from affiliate support from HSBC Holdings plc (senior unsecured A2 negative, BCA a2), HBON's ultimate parent. The one-notch of affiliate support uplift reflects HSBC Holdings plc's management control of HBON, combined with the strategic fit and brand name association of HBON with HSBC Holdings plc. The ba1 Adjusted BCA is at the same level as the bank's Ba1 local currency deposit rating, both positioned one notch above the Ba2 issuer rating of the Oman government.

HBON's financial profile in the rating agency's scorecard is ba1, but Moody's constrains the bank's BCA at ba2 (in line with the Oman sovereign rating) given the bank's high exposure to the Omani sovereign and operating environment, where 89% of its loans were located as of December 2019. The ba1 financial profile reflects HBON's high capitalisation (15.1% tangible common equity/risk weighted assets at end-2019), sound profitability (1.2% net income/tangible banking assets), low market funding reliance (3.5% market funds/tangible banking assets) and high liquidity (38.2% liquid banking assets/tangible banking assets). Moody's does however expect the bank's asset quality to weaken modestly (1.9% problem loans/gross loans), owing to continued public spending restraint amid low oil prices.

- Bank Dhofar SAOG (Bank Dhofar)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade Bank Dhofar's Ba3 bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba2 long-term local currency deposit rating, and its ba3 BCA and Adjusted BCA. Bank Dhofar''s long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on Bank Dhofar's Ba2 long-term local currency deposit ratings reflects (i) the potential weakening in the Omani government's fiscal capacity to support the bank in case of need, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the sovereign rating as well as (ii) the potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the bank's BCA. The review for downgrade on the bank's Ba3 long-term foreign currency deposit rating reflects the potential lowering of the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

- National Bank of Oman SAOG (NBO)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade NBO's Ba3 bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba2 long-term local currency deposit rating, and its ba3 BCA and Adjusted BCA. NBO's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on NBO's Ba2 long-term local currency deposit ratings reflects (i) the potential weakening in the Omani government's fiscal capacity to support the bank in case of need, as indicated by the review for downgrade in the sovereign rating as well as (ii) the potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the bank's BCA. The review for downgrade on the bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating reflects the potential lowering of the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

- Sohar International Bank SAOG (Sohar International)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade Sohar International's Ba3 bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba2 long-term local currency deposit ratings, and its ba3 BCA and Adjusted BCA. Sohar International's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on Sohar International's Ba2 long-term local currency deposit ratings reflects (i) the potential weakening in the Omani government's fiscal capacity to support the bank in case of need, as indicated by the review for downgrade in the sovereign rating, as well as (ii) the potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the bank's BCA. The review for downgrade on the bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating reflects the potential lowering of the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

- Oman Arab Bank (SAOC) (OAB)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade OAB's Ba3 bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba2 long-term local currency deposit ratings, and its ba3 BCA and Adjusted BCA. OAB's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on OAB's long-term local currency deposit ratings reflects (i) the potential weakening in the Omani government's fiscal capacity to support the bank in case of need, as indicated by the review for downgrade in the sovereign rating, as well as (ii) the potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the bank's BCA. The review for downgrade of the bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating reflects the potential lowering of the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

- Bank Nizwa SAOG (Bank Nizwa)

Moody's has placed on review for downgrade Bank Nizwa's Ba3 bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating, its Ba2 long-term local currency deposit ratings, and its b1 BCA and Adjusted BCA. Bank Nizwa's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is aligned with the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

The review for downgrade on Bank Nizwa's long-term local currency deposit ratings reflects (i) the potential weakening in the Omani government's capacity to support the bank, as well as (ii) the potential deterioration in the bank's credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the bank's BCA. The review for downgrade on the bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating reflects the potential lowering of the relevant foreign currency deposit ceiling.

RATING OUTLOOKS

The banks' ratings are on review for downgrade reflecting (i) the potential weakening in the Omani government's capacity to support the banks, as well as (ii) the potential deterioration in the banks' credit profile as a result of the current challenging operating environment, as indicated by the review for downgrade on the banks' BCA.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Bank Muscat SAOG

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed NP(cr)

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba1

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba1(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba2

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba2

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently (P)Ba2

....Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently (P)Ba3

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

Issuer: HSBC Bank Oman SAOG

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Baa3

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently P-3

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba1, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Baa3(cr)

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently P-3(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba2

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba1

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

Issuer: Bank Dhofar SAOG

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed NP(cr)

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently (P)Ba2

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

Issuer: National Bank of Oman SAOG

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed NP(cr)

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently (P)Ba2

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

Issuer: Sohar International Bank SAOG

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed NP(cr)

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

Issuer: Oman Arab Bank (SAOC)

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed NP(cr)

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently ba3

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

Issuer: Bank Nizwa SAOG

..Affirmations:

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

....Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, affirmed NP(cr)

....Short-term Bank Deposits (Local and Foreign Currency), affirmed NP

..On Review for Downgrade:

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Local and Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2, Outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

....Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba2(cr)

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently b1

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently b1

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating under Review from Stable

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks Methodology published in November 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1147865. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Factors That Would Lead to an Upgrade or Downgrade of the Ratings:

Upwards pressure on the banks' long-term foreign currency ratings is limited given the review for downgrade. A stabilisation in the sovereign outlook could lead to stable outlook on the banks' ratings.

Downward pressure on Omani banks' ratings could develop through a deterioration in the sovereign's credit profile, or a material deterioration in the banks' solvency and liquidity.

The local market analyst for these ratings is Mik Kabeya, +971 (423) 795-90.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security 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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit 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 ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

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

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

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.
Porto Bello Building
1, Siafi Street, 3042 Limassol
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Sean Marion
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Porto Bello Building
1, Siafi Street, 3042 Limassol
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

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Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody's Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY'S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody's SF Japan K.K. ("MSFJ") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization ("NRSRO"). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

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 credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit 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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