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Rating Action:

Moody's reviews NORD/LB's debt and deposit ratings for downgrade

01 Jun 2016

Review affects NORD/LB's subsidiaries and issuance vehicles, including BremerLB and Deutsche Hypo

Frankfurt am Main, June 01, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service has today placed on review for downgrade the ratings of Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ (NORD/LB) and affiliates, including the bank's A2 long-term deposit ratings, A3 long-term debt and issuer ratings and its Prime-1 short-term debt and deposit ratings. This follows Moody's initiation of a review for downgrade of NORD/LB's ba2 baseline credit assessment (BCA) and baa3 Adjusted BCA.

Today's rating actions were prompted by NORD/LB's Q1 2016 results reporting a loss, reflecting further increased loan loss provisioning needs in its sizeable shipping loan book and warning of an expected loss for the full-year 2016. Based on Moody's preliminary assessments, the group is facing rising solvency risks from its exposure to the global shipping industry, which is in the midst of a multi-year cyclical downturn.

Concurrently, Moody's also placed on review for downgrade the debt and deposit ratings of NORD/LB's domestic subsidiaries Bremer Landesbank Kreditanstalt Oldenburg GZ (BremerLB) and Deutsche Hypothekenbank AG (Deutsche Hypo). BremerLBs b1 BCA and ba2 adjusted BCA were also placed on review for downgrade. Deutsche Hypo's b1 BCA was affirmed while its baa3 adjusted BCA was placed on review for downgrade.

Furthermore, Moody's also placed on review for downgrade NORD/LB's A2(cr) long-term counterparty risk assessment, its Prime-1(cr) short term counterparty risk assessment, the bank's Ba1 subordinate debt ratings and the Ba3(hyb) ratings of the non-cumulative preference shares vehicles Charlottenburg Capital Intl. S.ar.l. & Cie and Fuerstenberg Cap Internat S.ar.l. & Cie (IV).

Moody's downgraded to B2(hyb) and B3(hyb), respectively, from Ba3(hyb) the ratings of the non-cumulative preference share vehicles Fuerstenberg Capital GmbH (I) and Fuerstenberg Capital II GmbH and placed these ratings on review for further downgrade.

For a list of all affected ratings, please refer to the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

REVIEW FOR DOWNGRADE OF NORD/LB'S AND BREMERLB'S BASELINE CREDIT ASSESSMENT

The review for downgrade of NORD/LB's ba2 BCA and BremerLB's b1 BCA is driven by Moody's assessment of rising solvency risks resulting from both entities' exposures to the global shipping industry. NORD/LB reported a first quarter 2016 loss as a result of further increased loan loss provisioning needs related to its shipping loan book and warned of an expected negative full-year result for 2016.

NORD/LB targets a material reduction of its exposure to the shipping sector within the next years, which in Moody's view means that the bank would accelerate the booking of loan loss provisions that bridge the gap between current book values and expected proceeds from the disposal or liquidation of such loans.

"Over the past quarters, NORD/LB has taken a series of measures to improve capitalisation levels and strengthen its resilience against sources of volatility. Even so, the extended shipping sector crisis eventually led the bank and its particularly exposed subsidiary BremerLB to tackle their asset quality issues faster and at a higher cost than previously targeted by NORD/LB," says Bernhard Held, a Moody's Vice President.

Moody's expects elevated provisioning costs to burden NORD/LB's financial results particularly in 2016, but also in 2017/18, depending inter alia on charter rate developments and supply/demand dynamics for container and bulker ships, which represent the largest collateral categories in NORD/LB's shipping loan book. Moody's notes that NORD/LB faces gradually rising regulatory capital requirements, in the coverage of which earnings retention will be instrumental given the tight framework the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) established for capital support by the bank's public-sector owners.

In contrast to the more diversified NORD/LB, BremerLB's shipping segment plays a dominant role in the bank's risk profile, so that in Moody's view BremerLB finds it increasingly difficult to offset shipping segment pressures with earnings from other segments.

The rating review will focus on NORD/LB's and BremerLB's plans and initial progress in reducing their shipping books at manageable costs and how this impacts the banks' financial results and solvency.

DEUTSCHE HYPO'S BCA AFFIRMED AND ITS AFFILIATE SUPPORTED ADJUSTED BCA PLACED ON REVIEW FOR DOWNGRADE

The rating agency considers Deutsche Hypo, NORD/LB's specialised commercial real estate lender, to be "affiliate backed" by NORD/LB, resulting in its baa3 adjusted BCA being equally placed on review for downgrade. This close linkage supersedes partial improvements in Deutsche Hypo's standalone financial profile, which today led Moody's to affirm Deutsche Hypo's b1 BCA.

REVIEW FOR DOWNGRADE OF NORD/LB'S AND ITS AFFILIATES' LONG-TERM DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS

The magnitude of a possible downgrade of the long-term debt, issuer and deposit and subordinated ratings, as well as the CR Assessment of NORD/LB and its affiliates, could be more than one notch, reflecting the potential magnitude of downgrade for NORD/LB's BCA and Adjusted BCA. Against the background of its concentrated shipping exposure, Moody's may downgrade the BCA and long-term debt, issuer and deposit ratings of BremerLB by more than one notch.

Furthermore, the rating review will also focus on NORD/LB's liability structure following the expiry of the majority of its grandfathered debt instruments by year-end 2015. Under Moody's Advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) Analysis, the assessment captures NORD/LB's resolution perimeter, which is applied to all its rated domestic subsidiaries.

RATING ACTIONS ON NORD/LB'S AND DEUTSCHE HYPO'S HYBRID RATINGS

The downgrades to B2(hyb) from Ba3(hyb) of the rating of non-cumulative preference shares issued by Fuerstenberg Capital GmbH (I) and to B3(hyb) from Ba3(hyb) of the rating of non-cumulative preference shares issued by Fuerstenberg Capital II GmbH follow the announcements by both entities that they may need to suspend coupons in 2017 and possibly thereafter, based on an expected balance sheet loss of NORD/LB for the year 2016.

For debt instruments very likely to become impaired, Moody's ratings reflect the rating agency's expectations for recovery of principal and interest, as well as the uncertainty around that expectation. The application of such an expected loss approach instead of the prior notching off NORD/LB's Adjusted BCA results in a two notch and three notch downgrade, respectively, which incorporates Moody's expectation of one interest payment being more likely than not missed. The rating review on these instruments will focus on whether additional payments may be lost as a result of temporary principal write-downs or extended coupon suspensions. Both instruments could be downgraded by multiple notches if the likelihood of such additional losses grows materially.

The Ba3(hyb) ratings of Charlottenburg Capital Intl. S.ar.l. & Cie and Fuerstenberg Cap Internat S.ar.l. & Cie (IV) were also placed on review for downgrade. Moody's expects both instruments to continue to be subject to the approach of applying LGF- and additional notching to the Adjusted BCAs of Deutsche Hypo and NORD/LB, respectively, because Moody's does not expect these instruments to be at risk of coupon suspension for 2016. Moody's will, however, review the degree to which investors in Fuerstenberg Cap Internat S.ar.l. & Cie (IV) and Charlottenburg Capital Intl. S.ar.l. & Cie are negatively affected by a possible reduction in the financial strength of the parent entities NORD/LB and Deutsche Hypo. Fuerstenberg Cap Internat S.ar.l. & Cie (IV) has been called by the issuer and will be repaid on 30 June 2016.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING - UP

There is currently no upward pressure on the ratings of NORD/LB and its affiliates, as indicated by the direction of the rating review.

Moody's may confirm the ratings at their current levels when closing the rating review if: (1) Tangible progress in the reduction of shipping exposure risks is achieved in the first half of 2016 without incurring disproportionate losses; and/or (2) NORD/LB is able to significantly dampen the expected costs from reducing its shipping exposure from income in other business areas.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING -- DOWN

Moody's may downgrade the BCA of NORD/LB and BremerLB and the ratings of the bank and its affiliates linked to it as a result of: (1) a confirmation of adverse business trends in NORD/LB's and BremerLB's shipping portfolio during the first half of 2016, which has the potential to affect medium-term profitability and solvency of both entities; and/or (2) a lack of progress in reducing the shipping exposure towards NORD/LB's medium-term target size of €12-14 billion.

In addition, NORD/LB's and its affiliates' senior debt ratings may be downgraded if the group's senior unsecured debt layer provided less loss absorption capacity following last year's maturities of grandfathered debt than Moody's previously expected.

NORD/LB's hybrid instruments Fuerstenberg Capital GmbH (I) and Fuerstenberg Capital II GmbH may be further downgraded if the chances of a coupon suspension for 2016 and the following years increase materially.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ

..Placed on Review for Downgrade:

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, currently baa3

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, currently ba2

.... Commercial Paper, currently P-1

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently A2(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently P-1(cr)

.... Long-term Issuer Rating, currently A3, outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

.... Short-term Deposit Ratings, currently P-1

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)A3

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba1

.... Other Short Term, currently (P)P-1

.... Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, currently Ba1

.... Deposit Note/CD Program, currently P-1

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, currently A3, outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

.... Long-term Deposit Ratings, currently A2, outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

Issuer: Bremer Landesbank Kreditanstalt Oldenburg GZ

..Placed on Review for Downgrade:

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, currently ba2

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, currently b1

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently P-2(cr)

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently Baa1(cr)

.... Long-term Issuer Rating, currently Baa2 , outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

.... Short-term Deposit Ratings, currently P-2

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba3

.... Other Short Term, currently (P)P-2

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Baa2

.... Commercial Paper, currently P-2

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, currently Baa2 , outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

.... Long-term Deposit Ratings, currently Baa1 , outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Outlook Actions:

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

Issuer: Deutsche Hypothekenbank AG

.. Placed on Review for Downgrade:

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, currently baa3

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently A2(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently P-1(cr)

.... Short-term Deposit Ratings, currently P-1

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)A3

.... Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, currently (P)Ba1

.... Other Short Term, currently (P)P-1

.... Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, currently Ba1

.... Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, currently A3, outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

.... Long-term Deposit Ratings, currently A2, outlook changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

..Affirmations:

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, affirmed b1

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

Issuer: Charlottenburg Capital Intl. S.ar.l. & Cie

.. Placed on Review for Downgrade:

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, currently Ba3(hyb)

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from No Outlook

Issuer: Fuerstenberg Cap Internat S.ar.l. & Cie (IV)

..Placed on Review for Downgrade:

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, currently Ba3(hyb)

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from No Outlook

Issuer: Fuerstenberg Capital GmbH (I)

..Downgraded and placed on Review for further Downgrade:

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, downgraded to B2(hyb) from Ba3(hyb)

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from No Outlook

Issuer: Fuerstenberg Capital II GmbH

..Downgraded and placed on Review for further Downgrade:

....Pref. Stock Non-cumulative, downgraded to B3(hyb) from Ba3(hyb)

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from No Outlook

Issuer: Norddeutsche Landesbank GZ, New York Branch

..On Review for Possible Downgrade:

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently A2(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, currently P-1(cr)

.... Commercial Paper, currently P-1

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Ratings Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

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 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 of rated entity Bremer Landesbank Kreditanstalt Oldenburg GZ were not initiated or not maintained at the request of the rated entity.

Moody's considers a rated entity or its agent(s) to be participating when it maintains an overall relationship with Moody's. On this basis, Bremer Landesbank Kreditanstalt Oldenburg GZ or their agents are considered to be non-participating entities. These rated entities or their agents generally do not provide Moody's with information for the purposes of their ratings process.

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.

Bernhard Held
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
An der Welle 5
Frankfurt am Main 60322
Germany
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's reviews NORD/LB's debt and deposit ratings for downgrade
No Related Data.
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