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Rating Action:

Moody's takes rating actions on five Tunisian banks

16 Mar 2018

Rating actions follow downgrade of the Tunisian sovereign rating

Limassol, March 16, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today downgraded to B2 from B1 the long-term local currency deposit ratings of Arab Tunisian Bank (ATB), Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie (BIAT) and Banque de Tunisie (BdT), as well as the long-term local currency deposit ratings of Société Tunisienne de Banque (STB) to B3 from B2, while affirming the long-term local currency deposit rating of Amen Bank (Amen) at B2. The banks' short-term deposit ratings were affirmed at Not-Prime. Moody's also changed the outlook on the long-term deposit ratings of all five banks to stable from negative.

At the same time, Moody's has downgraded the baseline credit assessments (BCAs) of ATB and BdT to b3 from b2 and affirmed the BCAs of Amen at caa1, BIAT at b3 and STB at caa3. Also, the adjusted BCA of ATB has been downgraded to b2 from b1 and BdT's adjusted BCA downgraded to b3 from b2.

Moody's has also today downgraded to B3 from B2 the long-term foreign currency deposit ratings of all banks, which is at the same level as the country ceiling for foreign currency deposits.

Lastly, Moody's has downgraded the long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment (CR Assessment) of ATB to B1(cr) from Ba3(cr) and the CR Assessments of the four other Tunisian banks to B2(cr) from B1(cr).

Today's action on the Tunisian banks follows Moody's downgrade of the Tunisian government's issuer rating to B2 stable from B1 negative on 14 March 2018 (please see ' Moody's downgrades Tunisia's rating to B2, outlook changed to stable'). The sovereign action primarily reflects further erosion in fiscal strength and foreign exchange reserve buffers which Moody's expects will not reverse in the next few years.

The long-term local currency rating downgrades of BIAT, BdT and STB reflect the reduced capacity of the Tunisian government to provide support to the banks in case of need, as indicated by the downgrade of the government's rating. In the case of BdT, the rating downgrade also incorporates the lowering of the bank's BCA which reflects mainly the bank's rising reliance on central bank funding and the concomitant encumbrance of collateralized liquid assets, which strains financial flexibility. The downgrade of ATB's long-term local currency deposit rating reflects the lowering of the banks BCA relying primarily on the gradual deterioration of the bank's asset quality since 2014, with elevated problem loans formation and declining provisioning coverage as well as capital buffers.

The changes in outlook to stable from negative on the five banks' ratings are in line with the stable outlook on Tunisia's (B2 stable) sovereign rating and reflect Moody's view that ratings are well anchored at their current level, capturing the challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the bank's respective standalone credit profiles and the rating agency's assessment of government support.

Details of the rationales for individual bank rating actions are provided later in the press release.

A full list of affected ratings is provided towards the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

RATING DOWNGRADES

- REDUCED TUNISIA GOVERNMENT SUPPORT CAPACITY FOR BIAT, BDT AND STB

The downgrade on the long-term local currency deposit ratings of BIAT, BdT and STB reflects Moody's view of a deterioration in the government's capacity to provide support to the banks if needed, even if its willingness to support remains unchanged. Although the government has taken some fiscal consolidation measures, Tunisia's fiscal deficits widened to 6.1% in 2017 (from 5.9% in 2016) and public debt increased to 70% of GDP in 2017 (from 62% in 2016), increasing the debt service burden.

This action is in line with the downgrade of Tunisia's sovereign rating to B2 from B1. The key drivers for the decision to downgrade the sovereign rating are (1) the rise of central government's debt above 70% of GDP in 2017, which will edge up gradually in 2018-19, amid declining debt affordability; (2) the current account deficit that will also remain wide, from 10.4% of GDP in 2017, and the economy's external debt that has risen further above 80% of GDP, weighing on reserves adequacy.

Further bank specific detail is given below.

BANK BY BANK SUMMARY OF ACTIONS

- Amen Bank (Amen)

Moody's affirmed Amen's long-term local-currency deposit rating at B2 and its BCA at caa1. Moody's also downgraded the bank's foreign-currency deposit ratings to B3 from B2. At the same time, the rating agency changed the outlook to stable from negative on the bank's long-term deposit ratings.

The affirmation of the long-term local-currency deposit rating and stable outlook on all long-term ratings -- in line with the stable outlook on Tunisia's (B2 stable) sovereign rating - reflects Moody's view that the ratings are well anchored at their current level, capturing the challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the bank's standalone credit profile (caa1 affirmed) and Moody's assessment of a very high probability of government support in case of need, given its 9% market share in domestic deposits, resulting in two notches of uplift from the bank's caa1 BCA.

The downgrade of the foreign-currency long-term deposit rating to B3 from B2 positioned at Tunisia's B3 ceiling for foreign currency deposits, which captures foreign currency transfer and convertibility risks.

Amen's caa1 BCA reflects (1) weak asset quality, combined with low loan-loss coverage; (2) modest profitability that will remain challenged by high cost of funding and increasing provisioning requirements; (3) the bank's relatively weak capital buffers; and (4) tight liquidity profile as well as high reliance on central bank funding.

The bank's long-term CR Assessment has been downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr). The CR Assessment is positioned two notches above the BCA of caa1. Moody's believes senior obligations represented by the CR Assessment are more likely to be preserved by actions taken by regulatory authorities in order to limit contagion, minimise losses and avoid disruption of critical functions. In the case of Amen, its CR Assessment of B2(cr) is aligned with its local-currency deposit rating, which is already in line with the Tunisian government bond rating of B2.

- Arab Tunisian Bank (ATB)

Moody's downgraded ATB's long-term local-currency deposit ratings to B2 from B1 and its BCA to b3 from b2. Moody's also downgraded the bank's foreign currency deposit ratings to B3 from B2, positioned at Tunisia's B3 country ceiling for foreign currency deposits, which captures foreign currency transfer and convertibility risks. At the same time, the rating agency changed the outlook on the bank's long-term deposit ratings to stable from negative.

The downgrade of the long-term local-currency deposit rating reflects the lowering of ATB's BCA to b3 from b2 in light of increased asset risk pressures. ATB's asset quality metrics have been deteriorating since 2014. ATB's NPLs to total gross loans ratio stood at 7.8% as of June 2017, up from 6.9% in 2014, reflecting three consecutive years of elevated NPL formation. In addition, the coverage of NPLs by loan-loss reserves declined over the same period to 72.4% from 82.7% and the bank's capital buffers also reduced with an adjusted tier 1 ratio at 8.4% as of June 2017 from 9.3% in 2015. In turn, total loss-absorption buffers declined with problem loans accounting for 40% of loan-loss reserves and shareholders' equity from 33% over the same period (above the global median of b3 BCAs at 20%). In the context of operating conditions that will remain challenging in Tunisia over the next 12 to 18 months, the rating agency does not expect ATB will be able to materially reduce its stock of NPLs and anticipates that rising provisioning requirements will continue to weigh on the bank's profitability (loan-loss provisions absorbed around 29% of the bank's pre-provision income in H1 2017 in line with the global median for b3 BCAs at 28%).

The B2 local-currency deposit rating incorporates one notch of parental uplift from ATB's b3 BCA, based on Moody's assessment of a moderate probability of parental support from Arab Bank PLC (long-term local currency deposits Ba2 stable, BCA ba2), the bank's majority shareholder with 64% ownership. The local-currency deposit rating does not incorporate any government support uplift, as it is already at the government rating level.

The stable outlook on ATB's long-term deposit ratings is in line with the stable outlook on Tunisia's (B2 stable) sovereign rating and reflects Moody's view that ratings are well anchored at their current level, capturing the challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the bank's standalone credit profile and Moody's affiliate and government support assumptions.

ATB's b3 BCA is driven by the bank's (1) deteriorating asset quality and high credit concentrations; (2) profitability which is constrained by an interest rate cap mechanism and a relatively high cost of risk; (3) moderate and declining capital buffers and loan-loss coverage ; and (4) good liquidity buffers (liquid assets accounted for 24.4% of total assets as of June 2017) supported by a stable deposit funding base and a moderate leverage compared to domestic peers.

The bank's long-term CR Assessment has been downgraded to B1(cr) from Ba3(cr). The CR Assessment is positioned two notches above the BCA of b3, reflecting Moody's view that the probability of default on the bank's senior obligations is lower than that of deposits. Moody's believes senior obligations represented by the CR Assessment are more likely to be preserved by actions taken by regulatory authorities in order to limit contagion, minimise losses and avoid disruption of critical functions.

- Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie (BIAT)

Moody's downgraded BIAT's long-term local-currency deposit ratings to B2 from B1 and its foreign currency deposit ratings to B3 from B2, positioned at Tunisia's B3 country ceiling for foreign currency deposits, which captures foreign currency transfer and convertibility risks. Moody's also affirmed the bank's BCA at b3 and changed the outlook on the bank's long-term ratings to stable from negative.

The downgrade of the long-term deposit ratings reflects the Tunisian government's weakened capacity to support banks as detailed above.

Following the downgrade, the bank's long-term local-currency deposit rating still benefits from one notch of uplift from its b3 BCA, reflecting Moody's assessment of a very high probability of government support in case of need, given BIAT's importance with a market share of around 19% of deposits in Tunisia. The stable outlook on BIAT's long-term deposit ratings reflects Moody's view that ratings are well anchored at their current level, capturing the challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the bank's standalone credit profile and the rating agency's assessment of government support.

The affirmation of BIAT's b3 BCA reflects its resilience to increased downside risks in the Tunisian operating environment, although the bank's credit and funding performance could be negatively affected.

BIAT's b3 BCA reflects the bank's (1) resilient profitability that benefits from improved efficiency and diversified sources of revenues (net income/tangible assets of 1.6% as of June 2017); (2) good liquidity buffers (liquid assets amounted to 23% of total assets as of June 2017), underpinned by its market position as Tunisia's leading private bank, which translates into a strong deposit-gathering ability; (3) modest loss absorption capacity, with a tangible common equity (TCE)-to-risk weighted assets (RWA) ratio of 8.8% as of June 2017; and (4) weak asset quality.

The bank's long-term CR Assessment has been downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr). The CR Assessment is positioned one notch above the BCA of b3. Moody's believes senior obligations represented by the CR Assessment are more likely to be preserved by actions taken by regulatory authorities in order to limit contagion, minimize losses and avoid disruption of critical functions. In the case of BIAT, its CR Assessment of B2(cr) is aligned with its local-currency deposit rating, which is already in line with the Tunisian government bond rating of B2.

- Banque de Tunisie (BdT)

Moody's downgraded BdT's long-term local-currency deposit ratings to B2 from B1 and its BCA to b3 from b2. Moody's also downgraded the bank's foreign currency deposit ratings to B3 from B2, positioned at Tunisia's B3 country ceiling for foreign currency deposits, which captures foreign currency transfer and convertibility risks. At the same time, the rating agency changed the outlook on the bank's long-term deposit ratings to stable from negative.

The downgrade of the long-term deposit ratings reflects the Tunisian government's weakened capacity to support banks, and the lowering of the banks' BCA to b3. The change in BCA primarily reflects the rising recourse to central bank funding (to 10% of the bank's assets as of June 2017 from 3.8% in December 2014), in a tight liquidity environment, which raises refinancing risk, encumbers liquid assets and exposes BdT to more restrictive monetary policy. In 2017, the bank's net loan growth of 13.7% exceeded its 9.4% increase in deposits, as the bank contained its recourse to more costly term deposits and certificates of deposits. As a result, Moody's estimates the bank's loan-to-deposit ratio to be at around 120% (109% in 2014), one of the highest in the system, which reduces the bank's capacity to continue growing at the same pace. Furthermore, BdT's liquidity buffers are lower than the other rated Tunisian banks, with liquid assets that accounted for 13.5% of assets as of June 2017 and Moody's expects rising recourse to central bank funding to encumber a material portion of those liquid assets collateralized against central bank's facilities constraining financial flexibility in times of stress.

Following the downgrade, the bank's long-term local-currency deposit rating still benefits from one notch of uplift from its b3 BCA reflecting Moody's assessment of a high probability of government support in case of need, given BdT's importance to the Tunisian financial system with a market share of around 6% of deposits.

The stable outlook on BdT's long-term deposit ratings is in line with the stable outlook on Tunisia's (B2 stable) sovereign rating and reflects Moody's view that ratings are well anchored at their current level, capturing the challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the bank's standalone credit profile and the rating agency's assessment of government support.

BdT's b3 baseline credit assessment (BCA) is underpinned by its sound capital buffers and prudent risk management compared with other Tunisian banks, combined with its stable profitability. These strengths are moderated by the bank's elevated asset quality pressures in a still challenging operating environment, and a funding structure that is increasingly reliant on central bank funding, leading to a material encumbrance of collateralized liquid assets against such facilities.

The bank's long-term CR Assessment has been downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr). The CR Assessment is positioned one notch above the BCA of b3. Moody's believes senior obligations represented by the CR Assessment are more likely to be preserved by actions taken by regulatory authorities in order to limit contagion, minimize losses and avoid disruption of critical functions. In the case of BdT, its CR Assessment of B2(cr) is aligned with its local-currency deposit rating, which is already in line with the Tunisian government bond rating of B2.

- Société Tunisienne de Banque (STB)

Moody's downgraded STB's long-term local-currency and foreign-currency deposit ratings to B3 from B2 and affirmed the bank's caa3 BCA. At the same time, the rating agency changed the outlook on the bank's long-term deposit ratings to stable from negative.

The downgrade of the long-term deposit ratings reflects the Tunisian government's weakened capacity to support banks as detailed above.

Following the downgrade, the bank's long-term local-currency deposit rating still benefits from three notches of uplift from its caa3 BCA, reflecting Moody's assessment of a very high probability of government support in case of need, given STB's importance to the Tunisian financial system as the third largest public-sector bank with a market share of around 10% of deposits and the 77.2% direct and indirect ownership by the Tunisian government.

The affirmation of STB's caa3 BCA reflects its resilience to increased downside risks in the Tunisian operating environment, although banks' credit and funding performance could be negatively affected.

The change in outlook on STB's long-term deposit ratings to stable from negative is in line with the stable outlook on Tunisia's (B2 stable) sovereign rating and reflects Moody's view that ratings are well anchored at their current level, capturing the challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the bank's standalone credit profile and Moody's government support assumptions.

STB's caa3 BCA reflects (1) the bank's high, albeit improving, level of problem loans (NPLs), driven by historically weak underwriting standards and concentrated exposure to the troubled tourism sector; (2) low profitability and weak loss-absorption capacity, despite the bank's 2015 recapitalization; (3) a challenged deposit base and low liquidity buffers; and (4) weak internal audit and reporting systems.

The bank's long-term CR Assessment has been downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr). The CR Assessment is positioned four notches above the BCA of caa3, reflecting Moody's view that the probability of default on the bank's senior obligations is lower than that of deposits. Moody's believes senior obligations represented by the CR Assessment are more likely to be preserved by actions taken by regulatory authorities in order to limit contagion, minimize losses and avoid disruption of critical functions.

RATIONALE FOR STABLE OUTLOOK

Moody's has changed the outlook on the five banks' deposit ratings to stable from negative, in line with the outlook on Tunisia's sovereign rating (B2 stable). This reflects Moody's view that ratings are resilient at their current level, capturing the foreseen challenges posed by the Tunisian operating environment on the banks' standalone credit profiles and our government support assumptions.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS -- UP/DOWN

Upwards rating pressure for all banks could develop from sustainable evidence of economic and fiscal improvements in Tunisia, as an upgrade in Tunisia's sovereign rating or a change in the Macro Profile of Tunisia (Very Weak+) would imply. In the case of STB and Amen, the only two banks that are assigned a rating below the sovereign rating of B2, a material reduction in asset risk, and strengthening in their loss-absorption buffers and liquidity levels could also lead to positive rating pressures.

A downgrade of the Tunisia government's issuer rating would weigh on all banks' ratings as it would signal further deterioration in the government's capacity to provide support to banks in case of need. Although ATB's B2 rating may be less sensitive to a downgrade of Tunisia government's issuer rating, given that its adjusted b2 BCA would remain supported by our expectation of support from Arab Bank PLC (LT LC bank deposits Ba2 stable), the bank's ratings would be negatively affected by any further weakening in the operating environment on its solvency and liquidity profiles.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Amen Bank

Downgrades:

....LT Bank Deposits (Foreign currency), Downgraded to B3 from B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr)

Affirmations:

....LT Bank Deposits (Local currency), Affirmed B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed NP

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed caa1

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed caa1

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed NP(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

Issuer: Arab Tunisian Bank

Downgrades:

....LT Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Downgraded to B2 from B1, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Downgraded to B3 from B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Downgraded to b2 from b1

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Downgraded to b3 from b2

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Downgraded to B1(cr) from Ba3(cr)

Affirmations:

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed NP

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed NP(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

Issuer: Banque de Tunisie

Downgrades:

....LT Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Downgraded to B2 from B1, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Downgraded to B3 from B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Downgraded to b3 from b2

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Downgraded to b3 from b2

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr)

Affirmations:

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed NP

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed NP(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

Issuer: Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie

Downgrades:

....LT Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Downgraded to B2 from B1, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Downgraded to B3 from B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr)

Affirmations:

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed NP

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed b3

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed b3

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed NP(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

Issuer: Societe Tunisienne de Banque

Downgrades:

....LT Bank Deposits (Foreign Currency), Downgraded to B3 from B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Bank Deposits (Local Currency), Downgraded to B3 from B2, Outlook changed To Stable From Negative

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Downgraded to B2(cr) from B1(cr)

Affirmations:

....ST Bank Deposits, Affirmed NP

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed caa3

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed caa3

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed NP(cr)

Outlook Actions:

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Negative

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in September 2017. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

The Local Market analyst for these ratings is Olivier Panis, +971.4.2379.533.

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 credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit 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 credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit 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.

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.

Melina Skouridou, CFA
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Porto Bello Building
1, Siafi Street, 3042 Limassol
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Sean Marion
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Ltd.
Porto Bello Building
1, Siafi Street, 3042 Limassol
PO Box 53205
Limassol CY 3301
Cyprus
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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To the extent permitted by law, MOODY'S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability to any person or entity for any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information, even if MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers is advised in advance of the possibility of such losses or damages, including but not limited to: (a) any loss of present or prospective profits or (b) any loss or damage arising where the relevant financial instrument is not the subject of a particular credit rating assigned by MOODY'S.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY'S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for any direct or compensatory losses or damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud, willful misconduct or any other type of liability that, for the avoidance of doubt, by law cannot be excluded) on the part of, or any contingency within or beyond the control of, MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information.

NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY CREDIT RATING, ASSESSMENT, OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY'S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.

Moody's Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to Moody's Investors Service, Inc. for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and Moody's investors Service also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of Moody's Investors Service credit ratings and credit rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold credit ratings from Moody's Investors Service and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody's Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY'S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody's SF Japan K.K. ("MSFJ") is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization ("NRSRO"). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY125,000 to approximately JPY250,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

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