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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Argentina's financial institutions ratings

 The document has been translated in other languages

21 Apr 2016

On June 27, 2016, the list of affected credit ratings accessible via hyperlink from this press release was corrected to reflect the removal of the NSR LT Senior Unsecured MTN (Domestic) rating and the addition of the NSR LT Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign) rating of PSA Finance Argentina Comp.Fin.S.A. and the addition of the LT Senior Unsecured MTN (Domestic) rating of Banco Macro S.A.

On May 10, 2016, the list of affected credit ratings accessible via hyperlink from this press release was corrected to reflect the addition of the affirmation of the LT Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign) rating of Banco Finansur S.A. at (P)Caa1, the addition of the affirmation of the LT Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign) rating of PSA Finance Argentina Comp. Fin. S.A. at (P)B2, and the removal of the LT Senior Unsecured MTN (Domestic) rating of PSA Finance Argentina Comp. Fin. S.A.

Buenos Aires City, April 21, 2016 -- Moody's Latin America Agente de Calificación de Riesgo S.A. (MLA) has today upgraded the global scale local and foreign currency deposit, issuer, corporate family, and/or debt ratings, as well as the baseline credit assessments, of 29 financial institutions, and upgraded the long term counterparty risk assessment of 24 banks. At the same time, Argentina Macro Profile was raised to Weak - from Very Weak. MLA also affirmed the BCAs of Banco de la Provincia de Córdoba and Banco Cetelem Argentina, and the BCA, global local currency deposits and debt ratings of Banco Finansur and Banco de Servicios y Transacciones, and the corporate family rating of Control Union Argentina. In addition, all corresponding NSR deposit, debt ratings, and corporate family ratings below Aaa.ar have been placed under review with direction uncertain.

These rating actions follow Moody's Investors Service decision on April 15 to upgrade Argentina's government bond rating to B3 from Caa1, the country's foreign currency bond ceiling to B2 from Caa1, the foreign currency deposit ceiling to Caa1 from Caa2, and the local currency bond and deposit ceilings to Ba3 from B1 (please see "Moody's upgrades Argentina's issuer rating to B3 with a stable outlook"). The rating actions take into account the high degree of inter-linkages between the banks' credit risk profiles and that of the sovereign.

The outlook on the global ratings is stable in all cases with the exception of Banco Patagonia S.A.'s local currency deposit and debt ratings and GPAT Compañía Financiera S.A.'s local currency corporate family rating, which carry negative outlooks.

At the same time, MLA withdrew the BCA and Adjusted BCA of Rombo Compañía Financiera for its own business reasons. Please refer to Moody's Investors Service's Policy for Withdrawal of Credit Ratings, available on its website, www.moodys.com.ar.

ISSUERS AND RATINGS AFFECTED

Please click on the following link to access the full list of affected credit ratings. This list is an integral part of this press release and identifies each affected issuer: http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_189231

RATINGS RATIONALE

UPGRADES OF THE DEPOSIT, ISSUER, CORPORATE FAMILY AND DEBT RATINGS AND/OR BCAs OF 21 FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

The upgrades and the improvement in the Macro Profile, consider that the country's, and consequently the banking system's, susceptibility to event risk has declined with the government's access to global capital markets restored following its recent agreement with holdout creditors. In addition, banks' operating environment has improved since the new administration took office in December 2015 and softened or eliminated various burdensome government controls on the financial system, including interest rate caps, deposit rate floors, and fees caps. These changes should help support earnings despite economic conditions that remain challenging, with inflation still very high and GDP expected to contract by 1.5% this year. The new government's market-friendly policy approach, including the relaxation of capital controls and reduction of export taxes, is expected to bolster investor confidence and restore economic growth in 2017.

Notwithstanding the difficult operating environment in recent years, banks' financial metrics remain sound. Capitalization is sufficient to absorb expected losses, and asset quality remains stable, with non-performing loans holding steady in the 2-3% range system-wide. Slow loan growth over the last two years as a result of the restrictive regulatory framework and weak economic activity has led to a build-up of liquidity that would help lenders weather a rise in market stress.

Following these rating action, 21 of 26 banks have BCAs positioned at b3. Only those banks that benefit from support from foreign parents have a rating at B2 or above.

REVIEWS OF NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS

National scale ratings (NSRs) are being placed under review direction uncertain pending a potential revision of the Argentina's NSR map. Following the recent upgrade of Argentina's sovereign rating and the increase of its local currency country ceiling to Ba3 from B1, the current mapping of global scale ratings to national scale ratings may no longer adequately serve one of its intended purposes, which is to provide greater credit differentiation among issuers in Argentina than is possible on the global rating scale. As a result, the lowest global scale rating that maps to Aaa.ar is likely to rise to Ba3 in line with the new country ceiling, and the new map is likely to associate lower NSRs with a given global scale rating than does the current map. Assuming the map is revised in line with current expectations, we would anticipate that the large majority of NSRs being placed under review will be confirmed at their current levels when the reviews conclude, though a small number may be raised or lowered.

AFFIRMATION OF THE BCA AND UPGRADE OF THE DEPOSIT RATINGS OF BANCO DE LA PROVINCIA DE CÓRDOBA AND BANCO CETELEM ARGENTINA

These banks' caa1 BCAs capture their relatively weak standalone credit profiles, characterized by weak capitalization in the case of Banco de Córdoba, and modest earning generation and poor asset quality in the case of Cetelem. Consequently, these banks are not as well positioned as their peers to benefit from the improvements in Argentina's operating environment. Nevertheless, Banco de Córdoba's deposit rating was upgraded to B3 from Caa1 following the upgrade of its parent, the province of Córdoba to B3 from Caa1, given our assessment of the very high probability of support that the bank will benefit from financial support from its parent in any event of stress. At the same time, Cetelem's deposit rating was raised to Ba3 from B1, following the upgrade of the sovereign ceiling for local currency to Ba3 from B1. Cetelem's rating benefits also from very high probability of support from its parent, BNP Paribas (rated baa1).

AFFIRMATION OF THE BCA, DEPOSIT AND DEBT RATINGS OF BANCO FINANSUR AND BANCO DE SERVICIOS Y TRANSACCIONES

The affirmation of these banks' Caa1 ratings reflects their relatively modest earning generation capacity and limited global-local deposit granularity. As is the case with Banco de Cordoba and Cetelem, these banks are not as well positioned as most of their peers to benefit from the improvements in Argentina's operating environment.

AFFIRMATION OF THE CORPORATE FAMILY RATING OF CONTROL UNION ARGENTINA

The revision of Control Union's outlook to stable together with the affirmation of its Caa1 corporate family rating considers its volatile earning generation capacity and relatively high operating costs. Consequently, this entity is not as well positioned as most other rated Argentine financial institutions to benefit from the improvements in Argentina's operating environment.

WITHDRAWAL OF ROMBO COMPAÑIA FINANCIERA'S BCA AND ADJUSTED BCA

The withdrawal of BCA and Adjusted BCA of Rombo is for business reasons. Please refer to Moody's Investors Service's Policy for Withdrawal of Credit Ratings, available on its website, www.moodys.com.ar.

RATIONALE FOR STABLE OUTLOOK

The stable outlook on almost all the Argentine financial institutions follows the stable outlook on the B3 sovereign bond rating. Increasing upside opportunities are counterbalanced by significant risks associated with the operating environment, which remains challenging.

RATIONALE OF BANCO PATAGONIA S.A.'S GLOBAL LOCAL CURRENCY DEPOSIT AND DEBT RATINGS AND GPAT COMPAÑÍA FINANCIERA S.A.'S GLOBAL LOCAL CURRENCY CORPORATE FAMILY RATING NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

Banco Patagonia S.A.'s Ba3 global local-currency deposit and debt ratings, and GPAT Compañía Financiera S.A.'s B1 global local-currency corporate family rating carry negative outlooks in line with the negative outlook of their ultimate principal shareholder, Banco do Brasil S.A. (rated Ba2 with negative outlook). Both entities' ratings incorporate uplift due to Moody's assessment of a very high probability of parental support.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

Many Argentine banks' ratings remain constrained by the sovereign. These ratings are likely to face upward pressure if Argentina's government bond rating is upgraded and /or the country ceilings rise again. Other bank ratings could face further upward pressure if Argentina's operating environment continues to improve in conjunction with another sovereign upgrade. On the other hand, the ratings could go down if the operating environment deteriorates, affecting the entities' business prospects or financial fundamentals, or if the country ceiling or Argentina's government bond rating is downgraded.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Ratings Methodologies page on www.moodys.com.ar for a copy of this methodology.

Moody's National Scale Credit 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 credit 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 ".za" for South Africa. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale credit ratings, please refer to Moody's Credit rating Methodology published in June 2014 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings".

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Please click on this link http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_189231 for the List of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this Press Release and provides, for each of the credit ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the following items:

• [Releasing Office]

• [Person Approving the Credit Rating]

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.ar.

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.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com.ar, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

For issuers domiciled in Argentina, the regulatory report related to this rating action is available on www.moodys.com.ar.

Please see www.moodys.com.ar 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.ar for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Maria Valeria Azconegui
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Latin America ACR
Ing. Butty 240
16th Floor
Buenos Aires City C1001AFB
Argentina
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 5129 2600

M. Celina Vansetti
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Latin America ACR
Ing. Butty 240
16th Floor
Buenos Aires City C1001AFB
Argentina
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 5129 2600

Moody's upgrades Argentina's financial institutions ratings
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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