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Rating Action:

Moody's rates Banco de la Nación Argentina (Bolivian Branch)

30 Jul 2010

Buenos Aires, July 30, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service assigned long and short term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings of B3 and Not Prime respectively to the Bolivian branch of Banco de la Nación Argentina (BNA (Bolivia)). At the same time, Moody's Latin America assigned BNA (Bolivia) an A1.bo and a BO-1 long and short term local and foreign currency deposit ratings in the Bolivian national scale.

All ratings have stable outlooks.

Moody's noted that the assigned deposit ratings reflect BNA (Bolivia)'s status as a full branch of Banco de la Nación Argentina, which in turn is wholly-owned and fully guaranteed by the Government of Argentina, rated by Moody's at B3. We note that because of its branch status, BNA (Bolivia) was not assigned a bank financial strength rating.

The rating agency pointed out that BNA (Bolivia) has an extensive track record of operations in the Bolivian financial market, primarily focused on financing trade operations between Argentina and Bolivia, while also engaged in working capital operations with domestic borrowers. The bank also benefits from adequate liquidity and capitalization buffers, the latter reflecting its policy of earnings retention. As an illustration, liquid assets represented 40.4% of total assets as of June 2010, while the BIS ratio was 68.8% in the same period.

Moody's also noted BNA (Bolivia)'s weaker asset quality indicators vis-à-vis the banking system average, with delinquent loans representing a high 16.9% of total assets. By and large, such nonperforming loans are derived from the discontinued operations of the La Paz branch, and are not being written off. BNA (Bolivia)'s very small market shares were also mentioned as a challenge for the entity, with loans and deposits representing 0.4% and 0.1% of the banking system, respectively.

Banco de la Nación Argentina (Bolivian Branch) is headquartered in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, and had assets of Bs. 170.2 million and equity for Bs. 90 million, as of June 2010.

The following ratings were assigned to Banco de la Nación Argentina (Bolivian Branch):

Long and short term global local-currency deposit ratings: B3 and Not Prime, stable outlook

Long and short term global foreign-currency deposit ratings: B3 and Not Prime, stable outlook

Long and Short Term National Scale Local Currency Deposit Rating: A1.bo and BO-1, stable outlook

Long and Short Term National Scale Foreign Currency Deposit Rating: A1.bo and BO-1, stable outlook

Buenos Aires
Maria Andrea Manavella
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group

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 rates Banco de la Nación Argentina (Bolivian Branch)
No Related Data.
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