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Rating Action:

Moody's takes negative rating actions on a number of Spanish banks

28 Apr 2008

Madrid, April 28, 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service has today implemented negative rating actions on a number of Spanish banks prompted by the negative outlook for the Spanish banking system based on (i) a more pronounced weakening of the real estate market than initially anticipated, (ii) the challenging funding market and (iii) the increased debt burden of already highly indebted domestic households which is leading to a rapid increase in problem loans for the system as a whole.

Below is the list of affected banks. (A full list detailing affected funding vehicles is provided at the end of this press release.)

The following entities' ratings were downgraded:

Caja Insular de Ahorros de Canarias

Cajamar Caja Rural, Soc. Coop. de Credito

The following entities' ratings were downgraded and the outlook changed to negative from stable:

Caja de Ahorros de Ávila

Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Segovia

The following entities' ratings were placed on review for possible downgrade:

Caixa Catalunya

Caixa d'Estalvis de Tarragona

Caixa d'Estalvis de Terrassa

Caja de Ahorros de Valencia, C y A. (Bancaja)

Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM)

The following entity's ratings were affirmed but the outlook was changed to negative from stable:

Caixanova

Maria Cabanyes, Senior Vice President at Moody's and lead analyst for Spanish banks, explained: "According to our central macro-economic scenario of a 'soft landing', most Spanish banks should be able to absorb the related weakening asset quality with the help of their ample risk absorption capacity. However, the likelihood of a 'hard landing' has increased, and some institutions are more vulnerable to such a scenario. This is due most often to a combination of some or all of the following factors: (i) a significant growth over recent years in exposure to real estate developers and construction companies; (ii) the concentrated exposure in areas with higher expected deterioration of asset quality, namely Madrid, Catalonia and many coastal areas, especially in the Mediterranean; (iii) in some cases sizeable related-party lending; and (iv) exposure to land among some banks exacerbating the risk of potential future asset deterioration."

Moody's rating actions reflect the relative position of these banks in these categories compared to similar rated peers, both within the domestic market but also on a global level. Furthermore, some banks have displayed a very high reliance on ECB funding, which Moody's considers a stable funding source, but also considers to be a weakness of a bank's long-term business model if the funding is overreliant on ECB funds. In addition, some banks are exposed to rating triggers related to their position as Swap-Counterparties on securitisation deals, which could in some cases exert additional pressure on liquidity and/or profitability.

Moody's commented that although no Spanish rated financial institution has been directly exposed to the US sub-prime sector, the risk re-pricing process initiated last summer has triggered a more pronounced downturn in the credit cycle for Spain's banking system than initially anticipated. This in turn is leading to rapid asset quality deterioration among corporates -- namely those related to real estate -- but also for households. In this regard, Moody's has evaluated each bank's ability to withstand both a base case and a severe stress scenario considering the resulting expected loss relative to each bank's capital surplus (defined as stressed pre-tax earnings plus 80% of excess Tier-1 above 6% plus net loan loss reserves), as well as each bank's capacity to generate capital through core earnings and other capital growth initiatives. Moody's has also evaluated each bank's risk concentration, geographic distribution, and the characteristics of the portfolios as differentiating factors that could either mitigate or, on the contrary, heighten the associated credit risk.

For further information on Moody's analysis of these risks, please refer to the Special Comment entitled "Spanish Banks and Real Estate", published in September 2007, as well as the updated Banking System Outlook that will be published tomorrow (29 April). Please also refer to the updated Credit Opinions that will be published shortly and will provide more detail on each affected issuer.

Moody's will also hold a teleconference for investors on the Spanish Banking System Outlook on Wednesday, April 30th. For details, please refer to the subscriber telephone number +44 20 7772 5454.

For media queries, please call +44 207 772 5529.

Moody's will continue to closely monitor developments in the Spanish market and the banks' exposures to these risks, and consider appropriate actions as and when necessary.

Below is the full list of the banks and related funding vehicles affected by Moody's rating actions:

Downgrades:

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros de Ávila

.LT Bank Deposit, Downgraded to Baa1 from A2

.ST Bank Deposit, Downgraded to Prime-2 from Prime-1

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Segovia

.LT Bank Deposit, Downgraded to Baa1 from A2

.ST Bank Deposit, Downgraded to Prime-2 from Prime-1

..Issuer: Caja Insular de Ahorros de Canarias

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Downgraded to C- from C

.LT Bank Deposit, Downgraded to A3 from A2

.ST Bank Deposit, Downgraded to Prime-2 from Prime-1

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Downgraded to A3 from A2

.Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa1 from A3

.Junior Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa1 from A3

..Issuer: Cajamar Caja Rural, Soc. Coop. de Credito

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Downgraded to C from C+

.LT Bank Deposit, Downgraded to A2 from A1

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Downgraded to A2 from A1

On Review for Possible Downgrade:

..Issuer: Caixa d'Estalvis de Tarragona

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C

.LT and ST Bank Deposit, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2/Prime-1

..Issuer: Caixa d'Estalvis de Terrassa

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C

.LT and ST Bank Deposit, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2/Prime-1

.Subordinate Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

.Junior Subordinate Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros de Valencia, C y A. (Bancaja)

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C+

.LT Issuer Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.LT Bank Deposit, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Subordinate Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

.Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

.Junior Subordinate Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

.Junior Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: Bancaja International Finance

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: Bancaja International Capital

.Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: Bancaja International Capital B.V.

.Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: Bancaja International Finance B.V.

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: Bancaja Capital, S.A. Unipersonal

.Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Bancaja US Debt, S.A.U.

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C+

.LT Issuer Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.LT Bank Deposit, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: CAM Global Finance

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: CAM Global Finance, S.A. Sociedad Unipersonal

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: CAM International Issues, S.A. Sociedad Unipers

.Subordinate Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

.Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: CAM US Finance, S.A. Unipersonal

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: Caixa Catalunya

.Bank Financial Strength Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently C+

.LT Issuer Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.LT Bank Deposit, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Subordinate Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A2

..Issuer: Caixa Catalunya Preferential Issuance Ltd.

.Preferred Stock, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A3

..Issuer: Caixa Catalunya International Finance Limited

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

..Issuer: Caixa Catalunya International Finance B.V.

.Senior Unsecured Debt Rating, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

.Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Placed on Review for Possible Downgrade, currently A1

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Caixanova

.Outlook, Changed to Negative from Stable

..Issuer: Caixa Catalunya

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Negative

..Issuer: Caixa d'Estalvis Tarragona

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Caixa d'Estalvis Terrassa

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros de Ávila

.Outlook, Changed to Negative from Stable

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros de Valencia, C.y A. (Bancaja)

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Bancaja International Finance

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Bancaja International Capital

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Bancaja International Capital B.V.

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Bancaja International Finance B.V.

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Bancaja Capital, S.A. Unipersonal

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Bancaja US Debt, S.A.U.

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: CAM Global Finance

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: CAM Global Finance, S.A. Sociedad Unipersonal

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: CAM International Issues, S.A. Sociedad Unipers

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: CAM US Finance, S.A. Unipersonal

.Outlook, Changed to Rating Under Review from Stable

..Issuer: Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Segovia

.Outlook, Changed to Negative from Stable

..Issuer: Caja Insular de Ahorros de Canarias

.Outlook, Changed to Stable from Rating Under Review

Frankfurt
Johannes Wassenberg
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Deutschland GmbH
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Madrid
Maria Cabanyes
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's takes negative rating actions on a number of Spanish banks
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