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Rating Action:

Moody's reviews UniCredit MedioCredito Centrale for possible downgrade

29 Mar 2010

Short-term bank deposit rating unaffected

Milan, March 29, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today placed the A1 long-term deposit ratings and the C- bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of UniCredit MedioCredito Centrale (UMCC) on review for possible downgrade. The Prime-1 short-term bank deposit ratings are unaffected.

Moody's said that this rating action follows the recent announcement by UMCC of a significant change in its business scope, with its initially defined mission as the UniCredit group's entity specialised in public sector related financing being significantly downsized. Effective from 1 August 2010, the bank's project and infrastructure financing activities, as well as medium-term corporate lending, should be spun off to UniCredit Corporate Banking SpA. Thereafter, the bank will focus on the provision of government subsidised funding schemes, a small sub-line of the wider public sector business, for which the bank has a strong and long-established position.

After the reorganisation, EUR5.95 billion of assets and EUR5.36 billion of liabilities will be allocated to the parent, resulting in an 85% reduction of UMCC's total assets. After August 2010, the bank's total shareholder equity will amount to EUR135 million, about 12.6% of total assets.

In 2009, under the then current structure, UMCC's interest margin had accounted for about 60% of net revenues, while the fee and commission income represented 37%. After the reorganisation, the subsequent reduction of UMCC's activities will render the bank's profitability significantly more dependent on the fee and commission revenue streams, which is also typical of its businesses segment of the wider public sector.

UMCC's reorganisation, which is part of the wider reorganisation plan of the UniCredit group's activities in Italy, has been approved by the parent and is now subject to the Bank of Italy's scrutiny and approval.

The review for possible downgrade will primarily focus on the stand-alone strength of UMCC after the reorganisation, and the extent to which UMCC will retain a sustainable business model, with subsequent good levels of profitability and efficiency. In addition, the expected high capitalisation of the bank in relation to its risk profile could provide a significant capital cushion relative to the challenges that the bank will be facing.

"Moody's notes that the review process could result in a multi-notch downgrade of UMCC's BFSR and Baseline Credit Assessment, but that the impact on the bank's long-term deposit rating is likely to be more limited, given that the likelihood of parental support is expected to remain very high, even following this reorganisation", says Simone Zampa, a Milan-based Moody's Vice President -- Senior Analyst, and lead analyst for this issuer.

The following ratings of UMCC were affected by today's rating action:

- Long-term bank deposit ratings of A1 under review for possible downgrade

- Bank Financial Strength Rating of C- under review for possible downgrade

The last rating action on UMCC was in June 2009, when all the bank's ratings were affirmed with stable outlook.

The principal methodology used in rating this issuer was Moody's "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology", published in February 2007 and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology", published in March 2007, available on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

Headquartered in Rome, Italy, UniCredit MedioCredito Centrale had total assets of EUR7 billion as at 31 December 2009.

Milan
Simone Zampa
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100

Milan
Henry MacNevin
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100

Moody's reviews UniCredit MedioCredito Centrale for possible downgrade
No Related Data.
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