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Rating Action:

Moody's takes rating actions on Credit Europe Bank N.V. and Credit Europe Bank Ltd

15 Apr 2014

London, 15 April 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded to Ba3 from Ba2 Credit Europe Bank N.V.'s (CBNV) long-term deposit ratings, prompted by the weakening in the standalone credit profile of the bank's main subsidiary Credit Europe Bank Ltd. (CEBL), based in Russia (Baa1 review for downgrade), reflected in the lowering of the Russian subsidiary's standalone financial strength rating (BFSR) to E+ / b1 baseline credit assessment (BCA) from D-/ba3.

The rating agency has also affirmed CEBL's Ba3 debt and deposit ratings. The outlook on all CEBL's long-term debt and deposit ratings remains negative while the outlook on BFSR is now stable.

The rating agency has also downgraded CBNV's subordinated debt rating to B1 from Ba3, and lowered the BFSR to D- from D, now equivalent to a BCA of ba3 from ba2. The Not Prime short-term deposit ratings are affirmed and the outlook on all long-term ratings of CBNV and its BFSR remains negative.

A list of affected ratings is available at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Credit Europe Bank N.V. (Netherlands)

--- DOWNGRADE OF THE DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS

The downgrade of the deposit ratings by one notch follows the lowering of CBNV's BFSR and thus its BCA by one notch. Moody's does not incorporate any government (systemic) support from the Dutch government (Aaa stable) into CBNV's ratings, because of the bank's low market share in the segments in which it operates. As a result, the long-term deposit ratings of CBNV are in line with its BCA. As the subordinated debt rating is positioned one notch below that of CBNV's BCA, the lowering of the bank's BCA by one notch resulted in the one notch downgrade of the subordinated debt rating.

--- THE LOWERING OF THE BFSR

The weakening in the credit profile of its main subsidiary CEBL -- whose BCA was lowered by one notch -- prompted the lowering of CBNV's BFSR and its BCA. The credit profiles of the two entities are interlinked as CEBL forms a significant 32% of the consolidated assets and contributed a high 73% of CBNV's consolidated revenues, as of year-end 2013.

CBNV's BCA and its one-notch higher position compared to that of CEBL is supported by CBNV's (1) stronger liquidity; (2) moderate reliance on market funds; (3) satisfactory capital cushion; and (4) adequate internal capital generation capacity.

As of year-end 2013, average liquid assets to total assets are 31% of balance sheet, whilst reliance on market funds is moderate at 33%. Additional liquidity relief, in case of need, comes from the average loan-to-deposit ratio (109%) and relatively short duration of its loan book (equating to 10% of the total balance sheet that matures within one month). The Tier 1 is 9.29%, whilst net income over average risk-weighted assets is satisfactory, at 1.27%.

Moody's expects bottom line profitability to remain acceptable. The projected improvements in non-Russian operations will largely offset profitability pressures from these operations (due to devaluation of the rouble and increasing credit risk).

--- MAINTAINING THE NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

The negative outlook on CBNV's BFSR reflects the headwinds that its Russian operations face. Moody's expects improving trends in the non-Russian operations of CBNV mainly on the back of (1) stronger economic growth in Europe, positively contributing to the lending revenues; and (2) cost cuttings through the disposal of some non-core assets and improved operational efficiencies.

However, the strong credit linkages between CBNV's and CEBL's credit profiles will remain over the medium-term. Moody's believes that CBNV's Russian operations will continue to represent more than 50% of the consolidated revenues and a significant share of consolidated assets.

Credit Europe Bank Ltd (Russia)

--- AFFIRMATION OF THE DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS

The affirmation of CEBL's debt and deposit ratings reflects the significant financial and key strategic importance of the Russian business for its parent, CBNV. Moody's incorporates its assessment of a high probability of support from the bank's immediate parent in the Ba3 debt and deposit ratings that now results in one notch of parental rating uplift in the ba3 adjusted BCA from the bank's b1 BCA. The support from the parent, particularly in a form of direct liquidity injections, might be constrained at some level by regulatory third-party exposure limits subject to the Dutch regulator's waiver. However, Moody's believes that the stronger liquidity and improvement in the performance of the non-Russia operations of CBNV enable it to inject capital into CEBL and/or purchase some of its assets, in case of refinancing pressures. The deposit and senior debt ratings of CEBL equal its adjusted BCA of ba3 and do not incorporate any systemic support from the Russian government, due to the bank's small market share of below 0.5% in customer deposits.

CEBL's subordinated debt rating has been affirmed as it is positioned one notch below the adjusted BCA.

--- THE LOWERING OF THE BFSR

The downgrade of CEBL's BFSR reflects its weaker balance-sheet structure. In Moody's view, the bank's recently increased reliance on short-term funding renders its operations more vulnerable to refinancing risk, despite the partly self-liquidating character of the bank's operations with an emphasis on short-term consumer and corporate lending. This is particularly relevant because Russian banks are currently finding it challenging to access the wholesale markets and interest rates have recently increased.

As of year-end 2013, CEBL reported an increase of its loan-to-deposit ratio to 287% from 274% as of year-end 2012. Most importantly, wholesale funds (debt securities issued and due from banks) maturing within 12 months stood at 37% of total assets as of year-end 2013 compared with 25% a year earlier. Moody's also notes the relatively thin cushion of liquid assets (cash and due from banks) that accounted for just 6.2% of total assets as of year-end 2013.

--- MAINTATINING NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

Moody's acknowledges CEBL's better capital adequacy and asset quality metrics compared with the majority of Russian monoline consumer lenders. However, deteriorating credit conditions in the segment and the weakening economic outlook will push CEBL to deleverage to preserve the good quality of its loan portfolio. These deleveraging risks might be further amplified by the increasing refinancing risks, exerting further pressure on the bank's operating efficiency and profitability.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

The negative outlook indicates that there is currently no upward pressure on the ratings.

CBNV's ratings could experience downward pressure following (1) further weakening in the performance of non-Russian operations that would increase the convergence between the risk profiles of CBNV and CEBL, in the absence of strong revenue diversification; (2) significant weakening of CEBL's risk profile; (3) further tightening of CBNV's liquidity indicators; and/or (4) further deterioration of the bank's core capitalisation.

CEBL's ratings could be downgraded if (1) the parent's rating is downgraded; or (2) if the bank's credit-risk profile, profitability or loss-absorption capacity deteriorates.

A detailed list of ratings affected follows below:

LIST OF RATING ACTIONS

Moody's took the following rating actions today:

Credit Europe Bank N.V.

Long-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings downgraded to Ba3 (negative) from Ba2 (negative)

Short-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings affirmed at Not Prime

Long-term foreign-currency subordinated debt rating downgraded to B1 (negative) from Ba3 (negative)

BFSR downgraded to D- (negative, ba3 BCA) from D (negative, ba2 BCA)

Credit Europe Bank Ltd.

Local and foreign-currency deposit ratings affirmed at Ba3 (negative)

Short-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings affirmed at Not Prime

Long-term local-currency senior unsecured debt rating affirmed at Ba3 (negative)

Long-term foreign-currency subordinated debt rating affirmed at B1(negative)

BFSR downgraded to E+ (stable, b1 BCA) from D- (negative, ba3 BCA)

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Global Banks published in May 2013. Please see the Credit Policy 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 rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular 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 rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this 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 person who approved Credit Europe Bank N.V. credit ratings is Carola Schuler, MD - Banking, Financial Institutions Group, JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456, SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

The person who approved Credit Europe Bank Ltd. credit ratings is Yves Lemay, MD - Banking, Financial Institutions Group, JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456, SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

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.

Arif K Bekiroglu
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
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 Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's takes rating actions on Credit Europe Bank N.V. and Credit Europe Bank Ltd
No Related Data.
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