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Rating Action:

Moody's rates BBVA Paraguay S.A.

Global Credit Research - 13 Jan 2011

Buenos Aires, January 13, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service assigned a bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of D to Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria Paraguay S.A. (BBVA Paraguay). Moody's also assigned long- and short-term global local-currency deposit ratings of Ba1 and Not Prime, as well as long- and short-term foreign-currency deposit ratings of B2 and Not Prime.

The outlooks on all the ratings are stable.

The following ratings were assigned to Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria Paraguay S.A.:

Bank Financial Strength Rating: D, with stable outlook.

Long- and short-term global local-currency deposit rating: Ba1 and Not Prime, with stable outlook.

Long- and short-term foreign currency deposit rating: B2 and Not Prime, with stable outlook.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's said that BBVA Paraguay's BFSR of D captures the strength of its franchise as the third largest bank in the system, with a 14% market share in terms of deposits, and its well-defined footprint in the corporate lending segment, while it also seeks to diversify its offerings into a wide range of retail products. BBVA's nationwide branch network ensures broad access to customer deposits, which account for 79% of the bank's funding, 42% of which are foreign currency. This funding profile positively reflects in high net interest margins.

Moody's noted that a sizable portion of the bank's earnings derives from wholesale banking, and from the agribusiness sector, in particular, where 36% of BBVA's loans are placed. Such concentration in the volatile agribusiness sector, which is a major economic activity in Paraguay, exposes the bank's balance sheet to risks of sudden reversal in credit quality and earnings. Nevertheless, BBVA's loan book has performed consistently well, with delinquency ratios below 1% over the past years, and a robust reserve coverage. These indicators also suggest adequate risk and portfolio management, which incorporates the parent company's policies and risk appetite. As management succeeds in further expanding its consumer banking business and lending, the bank may benefit from a healthy diversification of both earnings and loans, although asset quality is likely to suffer.

The bank's adequate capitalization ratio was also taken into account in the assignment of the ratings. Moreover, even under potential future stress scenarios, BBVA's capital appear resilient and above the regulatory minimum required by Paraguayan regulators.

Moody's Ba1 global local-currency deposit rating incorporates BBVA Paraguay's baseline credit assessment of Ba2, as well as Moody's assessment of the likelihood of very high support from its parent, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A (BBVA Spain), to the Paraguayan subsidiary. BBVA Spain also contributes robust risk and liquidity management policies, management influence and its brand strength. The deposit rating receives one notch of uplift from parental support.

The principal methodologies used in this rating were Global Methodology published in February 2007, and Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology published in March 2007.

BBVA Paraguay is headquartered in Asunción, Paraguay, and it had assets of US$ 1.356 million and deposits for US$ 990 million as of September 2010.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

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.

Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of assigning a credit rating.

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.

Please see the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Buenos Aires
Maria Andrea Manavella
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Latin America, Calificadora de Riesgo
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 4816-2332

New York
M. Celina Vansetti
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Latin America, Calificadora de Riesgo
Cerrito 1186, 11th fl
Buenos Aires C1010AAX
Argentina
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 4816-2332

Moody's rates BBVA Paraguay S.A.
No Related Data.
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