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Rating Action:

Moody's takes rating actions on Latin American subsidiaries of BBVA and Banco Santander

27 Jun 2012

New York, June 27, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has today repositioned the ratings of six Latin American banking subsidiaries of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) and Banco Santander, S.A. (Santander). These rating actions follow the downgrades of the parent banks' standalone financial strength ratings (BFSRs) and baseline credit assessments (BCAs), which remain on review for downgrade, given the weakening of the Spanish government's creditworthiness.

Please refer to Moody's press release "Moody's downgrades Spanish banks," dated 25 June 2012.

The long-term global local currency deposit ratings of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia S.A. and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Paraguay S.A. have been downgraded by one notch, while those of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Chile have been downgraded by two notches. The deposit rating of BBVA Colombia has been placed on review for further downgrade in line with the outlook on its parent's ratings. The global local currency deposit ratings of Banco Santander Chile, Banco Santander Uruguay S.A., and Banco Santander Río S.A. have also been placed on review for downgrade.

The short-term global local currency deposit ratings of BBVA Chile and BBVA Colombia were downgraded by one notch, while the short-term global local currency ratings of Santander Chile and Santander Uruguay were placed on review for downgrade.

The foreign currency deposit ratings of Santander Chile were placed on review for downgrade as they are equivalent to their local currency ratings, while those of BBVA Chile were downgraded by two notches. Those of the remaining four banks were unaffected by this action. The global long-term foreign currency debt ratings of BBVA Chile were downgraded, while the debt ratings of Santander Chile and Santander Río were placed on review for downgrade. The local currency national scale debt ratings of Santander Rio were also placed on review for downgrade.

Today's rating downgrades and continuing reviews take into account the potential effects on the Latin American subsidiaries of Santander and BBVA of credit pressures at the parent level that affect Moody's assumptions regarding the probability of parental support to be incorporated in the subsidiaries' ratings. The reviews will also focus on how subsidiaries' stand alone credit profiles may be affected by their close ties to the respective parent bank, including financial, branding and managerial linkages.

Moody's rating actions on Santander's and BBVA's subsidiaries in Brazil and Mexico are detailed in separate press releases.

OVERVIEW OF TODAY'S RATING ACTIONS

Banco Santander Chile (Santander Chile)

Bank financial strength rating of B-, on review for downgrade

Long-term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Aa3, on review for downgrade

Short-term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Prime-1, on review for downgrade

Foreign currency senior and subordinated debt ratings of Aa3 and A1, on review for downgrade

Banco Santander S.A. (Uruguay) (Santander Uruguay)

Long-term global local currency deposit rating of Baa3, on review for possible downgrade

Short-term global local currency deposit rating of Prime-3, on review for possible downgrade

Long-term Uruguayan national scale local currency deposit rating of Aa1.uy, on review for possible downgrade

Banco Santander Río S.A. (Santander Río)

Long-term global local currency deposit rating of Ba3, on review for downgrade

Long-term Argentinean national scale local currency deposit rating of Aaa.ar, on review for downgrade

Long-term global local currency senior debt rating of Ba3, on review for downgrade

Long-term Argentinean national scale local currency senior debt rating of Aaa.ar, on review for downgrade

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Chile (BBVA Chile)

Long-term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings to Baa1, stable, from A2

Short-term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings to Prime-2, stable, from Prime-1

Long-term foreign currency senior debt rating to Baa1, stable, from A2

Long-term Mexican national scale debt rating of Aaa.mx affirmed, stable

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia S.A. (BBVA Colombia)

Long-term global local currency deposit rating to Baa2, on review for further downgrade, from Baa1

Long-term global foreign currency deposit rating of Baa3 affirmed, stable

Short-term global local currency deposit rating to Prime-3 from Prime-2

Short-term global foreign currency deposit rating of Prime-3, affirmed

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Paraguay S.A. (BBVA Paraguay)

Long-term global local currency deposit rating to Ba2, stable, from Ba1

Long-term global foreign currency deposit rating of B2 affirmed, stable

Long-term global foreign currency debt rating of Ba3 affirmed, stable

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_143530 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and identifies each affected issuer.

For additional information on bank ratings, please refer to the webpage containing Moody's related announcements http://www.moodys.com/bankratings2012

RATING RATIONALE

SANTANDER CHILE

The review for downgrade of Santander Chile's standalone B- BFSR and BCA of a1 is driven by the downgrade of the standalone rating of its 67.2% parent, Santander, to baa2 on review for further downgrade from a3. As a result, Santander Chile's Aa3 global local and foreign currency deposit ratings have also been placed on review for downgrade, together with the bank's Aa3 and A1 foreign currency senior and subordinated debt ratings, respectively, as they are derived from the global local currency deposit rating. The bank's Prime-1 global local and foreign currency short term deposit ratings were also placed on review for downgrade.

The review for downgrade of Santander Chile's standalone BFSR and BCA reflects the bank's degree of strategic and operational interdependence with its parent, whose standalone credit profile has been lowered. While Moody's recognizes a satisfactory level of ring-fencing from risks elsewhere in the Santander Group, the correlation in the areas of reputation and investor confidence give reason to reassess the positioning of the standalone rating at multiple notches above the parent's and in light of the continuing review of the parent's ratings. Moody's will assess the positioning of Santander Chile's BCA relative to that of the parent, taking into account its (i) funding or operating dependence; (ii) profitability and liquidity; (iii) exposure to the parent and common client relationships; and (iv) regulatory barriers that control the distribution of capital resources from the subsidiary to its parent.

The review for downgrade of Santander Chile's ratings is driven by the outlook on the parent's BCA and indicates that these ratings are likely to be lowered if the parent bank's standalone rating is lowered. Because Santander Chile's BCA is higher than that of its parent bank, its deposit ratings do not benefit from uplift due to parent support assumptions. Santander Chile's Aa3 deposit and senior debt ratings currently derive one notch of uplift from the bank's a1 BCA based on Moody's assessment of a very high probability of government support if needed, due to the importance of the bank's deposit and lending franchise in Chile.

SANTANDER RÍO

Santander Río's Ba3 global local currency deposit rating and Aaa.ar local currency deposit rating on the Argentinean national scale have been placed on review for downgrade in line with the action on the standalone rating of its 95.7% Spanish parent, Santander. Moody's Latin America has also placed the Ba3 global local currency debt rating and Aaa.ar local currency debt rating on the Argentinean national scale on review for downgrade. The bank's global local and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings of Not Prime were affirmed.

The review for downgrade of Santander Río's global and national scale deposit and debt ratings is based on the downgrade and continuing review of the parent's baa2 standalone rating, which may reduce the level of parental support incorporated in the subsidiary's ratings. Currently Santander Río's ratings benefit from three notches of uplift reflecting Moody's assessment of a high probability of parental support in case of need. The review of the national scale ratings derives directly from the review of the global ratings.

SANTANDER URUGUAY

Moody's has placed Santander Uruguay's Baa3 and Prime-3 long-term and short-term global local currency deposit ratings on review for downgrade, indicating the weakening of the parent bank's BCA. Moody's Latin America has also placed the bank's Aa1.uy local currency deposit rating on the Uruguayan national scale on review for downgrade.

The bank's Ba2 and Not Prime foreign currency deposit ratings are unaffected by this rating action and remain constrained by the Uruguayan country ceiling. Santander Uruguay's deposit ratings benefit from one notch of uplift from the bank's ba1 BCA based on Moody's assessment of a moderate probability of parental support in case of need.

BBVA CHILE

BBVA Chile's deposit and debt ratings have been downgraded to Baa1 from A2, in line with the downgrade of the BCA of its 68.2% parent, BBVA, to baa3, on review for further downgrade, from a3. BBVA Chile's global local and foreign currency short-term ratings were also downgraded, to Prime-2 from Prime-1. The rating outlook is now stable for these ratings.

The foreign currency senior debt rating assigned to the bank's issuances of Certificados Bursátiles in the Mexican market has therefore also been downgraded to Baa1 from A2. Moody's de México's Aaa.mx debt rating on the Mexican National Scale was unaffected by this action and has therefore been affirmed. BBVA Chile's D+ and baa3 standalone BFSR and BCA, which are at the parent level, have also been affirmed, with stable outlooks.

BBVA Chile's ratings now hinge on the bank's standalone strength together with Moody's assessment of the probability of government support, as they no longer derive uplift from parental support assumptions. The Baa1 global scale deposit and senior debt ratings now benefit from two notches of uplift due to government support from the bank's baa3 BCA versus four notches previously, reflecting the importance of BBVA Chile's deposit and lending franchise.

BBVA COLOMBIA

Moody's has downgraded BBVA Colombia's long-term global local currency deposit rating to Baa2 on review for downgrade from Baa1, and short-term global local currency deposit rating to Prime-3 from Prime-2, in line with the action on the standalone ratings of its 95.43% parent, BBVA.

BBVA Colombia's global local currency deposit rating of Baa2 continues to benefit from two notches of uplift from the bank's BCA of ba1, reflecting Moody's assessment of a very high probability of both parental and government support if necessary, the latter in light of the bank's considerable market shares in deposits and loans and the fact that it is the largest mortgage lender in Colombia.

BBVA PARAGUAY

The downgrade of BBVA Paraguay's global local currency deposit rating, to Ba2 from Ba1, is in line with the downgrade of the standalone ratings of the 99.98% parent, BBVA. BBVA Paraguay's Ba2 deposit rating now incorporates two notches of uplift from the bank's b1 BCA reflecting Moody's view of the probability of both parental and government support, compared with three notches previously. The rating now receives one notch of uplift due to parental support, versus two previously, and one notch reflecting government support.

BBVA Paraguay's foreign currency deposit and debt ratings of B2 and Ba3, respectively, have been affirmed with stable outlook, along with the respective Not Prime short-term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings, and remain constrained by the Paraguayan foreign currency country ceilings for deposits of B2 and debt of Ba3.

LAST RATING ACTIONS

Moody's last rating action on Santander Chile was on 9 February 2012, when Moody's assigned a (P)Aa3 rating to the bank's global medium-term note program.

Moody's last rating action on BBVA Chile was on 7 November 2011, when Moody's assigned new global and Mexican national scale debt ratings of A2 and Aaa.mx to the bank's issuances of Certificados Bursátiles.

Moody's last rating action taken on BBVA Colombia was on 18 July 2011, when Moody's assigned first-time ratings.

Moody's last rating action taken on BBVA Paraguay was on 18 May 2012, when Moody's downgraded the standalone rating and affirmed the supported debt ratings, with stable outlook.

The methodologies used in rating Santander Chile, BBVA Chile, BBVA Colombia, and BBVA Paraguay are "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology," published February 2007, and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: Global Methodology, published March 2012. These methodologies can be found on the Credit Policy page at www.moodys.com..

Moody's National Scale Ratings (NSRs) are intended as relative measures of creditworthiness among debt issues and issuers within a country, enabling market participants to better differentiate relative risks. NSRs differ from Moody's global scale ratings in that they are not globally comparable with the full universe of Moody's rated entities, but only with NSRs for other rated debt issues and issuers within the same country. NSRs are designated by a ".nn" country modifier signifying the relevant country, as in ".mx" for Mexico. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale ratings, please refer to Moody's Rating Methodology published in March 2011 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

The following Global Scale Credit Ratings are EU endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Ltd., One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E 14 5FA, UK, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that has issued a particular Credit Rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Banco Santander Chile (Santander Chile)

Banco Santander Río S.A. (Santander Río)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Chile (BBVA Chile)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Colombia S.A. (BBVA Colombia)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Paraguay S.A. (BBVA Paraguay)

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides relevant 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 relevant 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 relevant 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.

The ratings for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Chile (BBVA Chile) have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

Information sources used to prepare the rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, public information, and confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.

Moody's considers the quality of information available on the rated entities, obligations or credits satisfactory for the purposes of issuing these ratings.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning the ratings is of sufficient quality and from sources Moody's considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, Moody's is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the issuer page on www.moodys.com for Moody's regulatory disclosure of the name of the lead analyst and the office that has issued the credit rating.

The ratings issued by Moody's de Mexico are opinions regarding the credit quality of securities and/or their issuers and not a recommendation to invest in any such security and/or issuer.

The relevant Releasing Office for each rating is identified under the Debt/Tranche List section on the Ratings tab of each issuer/entity page on moodys.com

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for general disclosure on potential conflicts of interests.

Please see the ratings disclosure page on www.moodys.com for information on (A) MCO's major shareholders (above 5%) and for (B) further information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities as well as (C) the names of entities that hold ratings from MIS that have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%. A member of the board of directors of this rated entity may also be a member of the board of directors of a shareholder of Moody's Corporation; however, Moody's has not independently verified this matter.

Please see Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions on the Rating Process page on www.moodys.com for further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Please see ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the last rating action and the rating history.

The date on which some ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's provides a date that it believes is the most reliable and accurate based on the information that is available to it. Please see the ratings disclosure page on our website www.moodys.com for further information.

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.

Jeanne Del Casino
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Maria Celina?Vansetti-Hutchins
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's takes rating actions on Latin American subsidiaries of BBVA and Banco Santander
No Related Data.
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