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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Bank of Moscow's deposit rating to Ba1; outlook stable

13 Dec 2013

London, 13 December 2013 -- Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded JSCB Bank of Moscow's deposit ratings and senior unsecured debt ratings to Ba1 from Ba2 and its subordinated debt rating to Ba3 from B1. The outlook is stable.

Moody's Investors Service has also upgraded the long-term subordinated debt rating of Kuznetski Capital S.A. (special-purpose vehicle of Bank of Moscow) to Ba3 from B1; the outlook is stable.

The rating upgrade reflects a higher probability of support to Bank of Moscow from its parent, Bank VTB, JSC.

At the same time, Moody's affirmed Bank of Moscow's standalone E+ bank financial strength rating (BFSR), which maps to a baseline credit assessment (BCA) of b2, and the bank's Not Prime short-term deposit ratings.

RATINGS RATIONALE

UPGRADE OF SUPPORTED RATINGS

According to Moody's, the upgrade of Bank of Moscow's deposit ratings is driven by the increased likelihood of support to Bank of Moscow from its parent, Bank VTB. The rating agency considers that Bank of Moscow made good progress in its integration into VTB since its acquisition in 2011. Moreover, Bank of Moscow's contribution to VTB's profitability is significant and growing: the former generated around 30% of consolidated VTB IFRS net income in 2011-2012, and 63% in H1 2013. As a result, Bank of Moscow's Ba1 deposit ratings now incorporate four notches of uplift above the bank's b2 BCA, compared to three notches previously.

AFFIRMATION OF STANDALONE RATINGS

The affirmation reflects the fact that Bank of Moscow remains under the financial rehabilitation programme launched in 2011. The status, which will last until 30 June 2015, implies that the bank would not be in full compliance with the statutory requirements of the Central Bank of Russia if the necessary loan loss provisions were applied. In addition, the standalone rating is constrained by the bank's significantly impaired asset quality, which suppresses profitability because a significant part of the loan book is not accruing interest.

However, Moody's notes some improvements in Bank of Moscow's asset quality, as non-performing loans are declining both in absolute terms (due to recoveries) and in relative terms (due to loan book growth). On 30 June 2013, problem loans amounted to 25% of the loan book (provisioned at 92%), down from 55% at year-end 2010. Improving asset quality has prompted a recovery of the net interest margin (3.8% in H1 2013) and pre-provisioning profitability (3.2% of average total assets in H1 2013), while net profits are further supported by reserve write-backs.

Bank of Moscow's capitalisation is robust, with a Tier 1 of 14.7% and Total Capital ratio of 17.4% under the Basel framework as at 30 June 2013. However, Moody's expects this capital cushion to decline and Tier 1 capital to be increasingly replaced with Tier 2 in the next 12-18 months, as the bank pays large dividends to VTB and in return receives subordinated debt from its parent.

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

According to Moody's, upward pressure would depend on (1) Bank of Moscow's exit from the rehabilitation programme, or at least compliance with the statutory ratios after all the necessary loan loss provisions are created; and (2) further improvements in asset quality and profitability, aided by the dilution of legacy problem loans in new lending.

At the same time, Bank of Moscow's ratings could be negatively affected in the event of further asset-quality erosion and/or significant capital depletion. Any significant negative changes to the terms of the bank's rehabilitation plan could trigger a rating downgrade.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGIES

The principal methodology used in this rating was Global Banks published in May 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, Bank of Moscow reported total (unaudited IFRS) assets of RUB1,405 billion and shareholder equity of RUB200 billion at 30 June 2013.

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.

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.

Svetlana Pavlova
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Limited, Russian Branch
7th floor, Four Winds Plaza
21 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya St.
Moscow 125047
Russia

Yves Lemay
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
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Moody's upgrades Bank of Moscow's deposit rating to Ba1; outlook stable
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