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27 Apr 2009
London, 27 April 2009 -- Moody's Investors Service today placed on review for possible downgrade
Swedbank AB's C- bank financial strength rating and the A1
senior long-term debt and deposit ratings. At the same time,
its Prime-1 short-term rating was affirmed. The government-backed
ratings assigned to the debt instruments benefiting from the Swedish government
guarantee retain a Aaa rating and are not affected by this rating action.
A separate press release was issued on 27 April 2009 on the ratings of
Swedbank AS (Swedbank's fully owned Baltic subsidiary).
Moody's rating action follows Swedbank's recent announcement
of a SEK3.358 billion (EUR 306 million) loss in Q1 2009,
mainly caused by a substantial increase in loan loss impairments in the
Baltic states and Ukraine. Group loan loss provisions in Q1 2009
were SEK6.8 billion compared with SEK1.6 billion in Q4 2008
and SEK3.1 billion in the whole of 2008. Gross NPLs for
the group increased by SEK9.3 billion over Q1 2009 to SEK19.9
billion from SEK10.6 billion at the end of 2008, of which
SEK7.6 billion was from the Baltic states and SEK1.4 billion
was from Ukraine, mostly related to corporate and property management.
Moody's notes that it incorporated expected losses from the bank's
loan portfolios into its previous rating action in February 2009.
However, in recent months these expected losses have considerably
exceeded previous estimates as a result of the continuing deterioration
of macro-economic conditions in the Baltic states. In addition,
the pace of the Swedish economy's macro-economic deterioration
has also increased.
Moody's says that the review will focus on:
(i) the amount of capital available to absorb future credit losses given
the rating agency's revised loss assumptions, especially those
arising from the rapidly deteriorating Baltic states, Russia and
Ukraine and from Swedbank's main domestic market of Sweden;
(ii) Swedbank's future earnings capacity and its ability to replenish
its capital cushion given Moody's expectation that large loan loss
provisions will continue to constrain the bank's profitability;
(iii) the likelihood that the bank may need periodic outside support.
Moody's notes that, at the end of 2008, Swedbank reinforced
its capitalisation through a rights issue of preference shares of SEK12.4
billion and the cancellation of its 2008 dividend. At the end of
Q1 2009, Swedbank had a core Tier 1 capital ratio of 9.4%
from 9.7% at the end of 2008.
In its review, Moody's will also take into account the more
decisive actions of Swedbank's new senior management in terms of
containing and managing the bank's credit risk exposure in its main
operating markets, in particular the Baltic states and Ukraine.
Moody's expects any resultant downgrade of the deposit and senior
debt ratings to be limited, keeping the bank in the single A range,
given its key systemic importance in the Swedish banking sector.
As a result of the rating action on its parent bank, the senior
and subordinated debt ratings of Swedbank Mortgage AB (rated A1/P-1,
negative outlook) were also placed on review for possible downgrade.
The ratings of the two Ukrainian subsidiaries, OJSC Swedbank (rated
B2/Ba2/NP/E+; B2 ratings under review for possible downgrade)
and its subsidiary CJSC Swedbank Invest (rated B2/Ba2/NP/E+;
B2 ratings under review for possible downgrade, Ba2 and E+
under negative outlook), were not changed as a result of this rating
Moody's last rating action on Swedbank was implemented on 27 February
2009 when the bank's ratings were downgraded to A1/C- (negative
outlook), from Aa3/C+ (negative outlook).
The principal methodologies used in rating Swedbank were "Bank Financial
Strength Ratings: Global Methodology" (February 2007) and "Incorporation
of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined
Methodology" (March 2007), which can be found at www.moodys.com
in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory, in the Ratings
Methodologies sub-directory. Other methodologies and factors
that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can
also be found in the Credit Policy & Methodologies directory.
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Swedbank AB reported total
consolidated assets of SEK1.831 trillion (EUR167 billion) at the
end of March 2009.
Reynold R. Leegerstee
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Moody's reviews Swedbank AB's A1/C- ratings for downgrade
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
No Related Data.
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