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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Danske Bank to A3; outlook stable

27 Nov 2014

London, 27 November 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today upgraded Danske Bank A/S's long-term deposit and senior debt ratings to A3 from Baa1 to reflect (1) the improvements and continued positive trend in the group's profitability over recent years; (2) reduced credit risk relating to the non-core operations; (3) reduced refinancing risk in the group's mortgage credit operations; and (4) a stabilisation of the operating environment in the group's main market Denmark.

Concurrently, Moody's has adjusted upwards Danske Bank's standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA) to baa1 from baa2 and affirmed the Prime-2 short-term rating. The outlook on all long-term ratings is stable.

A full list of all affected ratings can be found at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Moody's says that the main driver of the upgrade is the continued improvement in Danske Bank's profitability mainly since mid 2013, which has been driven largely by a continued reduction in loan losses to a level in line with the average for the largest Nordic peers. Moody's expect that the full effect of cost efficiency measures and a positive margin trend will result in a continued positive development in profitability in the medium term. In addition Moody's note that, the group's net non-core loan book has reduced materially (to 22.5% of equity at 30 September 2014 from 31.4% at 30 September 2013), and the group's share of short-term (1 and 2 years) funded mortgages has fallen by around 50% since 2012. While these risks have reduced, the bank has maintained a high level of capital with the Tier 1 ratio of 16.6% at 30 September 2014.

The baa1 BCA mainly reflects the group's market leading position in Denmark and Northern Ireland and strong operational presence in Finland, Sweden and Norway, giving the group the benefit of a balanced and well-diversified lending portfolio and a significant volume of relatively stable recurring earnings.

At the same, however, Moody's says that the rating is restrained by (1) Danske's capacity to build capital and absorb earnings shocks, remaining somewhat below those of its peers; (2) residual risks relating to the run-off of the remaining non-core exposures; (3) continued slow growth in the Danish economy and (4) relatively high volatility of earnings especially in the Corporate & Institutions operations. Moody's notes, however, that the main restraining factors have reduced in importance over the last year and the current trend is positive.

--- SUPPORT ASSUMPTIONS

The Danske Bank group ratings continue to receive one notch of government (systemic) support uplift from the baa1 standalone BCA.

Following the adoption of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) regulation in the EU, the balance of risk for many European banks' senior unsecured creditors has shifted to the downside. Considering Danske Bank's domestic importance, Moody's assesses a moderate probability of systemic support, and does not currently expect this probability to decline to any material degree, even after full implementation of the BRRD.

--- RATIONALE FOR THE STABLE OUTLOOK

All long-term ratings carry a stable outlook, reflecting that some further positive developments in the key rating restraints is incorporated in the current standalone BCA and senior ratings.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING -- UP/DOWN

The current rating incorporates a continued positive trend in profitability to levels more in line with similarly rated peers. However, a sustained and material reduction in the group's risk profile relating to the group's lending book , refinancing risk and earnings volatility could provide upwards rating pressure.

Any renewed pressure on asset quality, particularly in Denmark, could result in negative rating pressure. Negative pressure would also result from any indications that Danske Bank will not deliver the anticipated improvement in profitability to reach the same levels as similarly rated peers or that the improvements achieved in recent years are not sustainable.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

BCA:

Danske Bank A/S

--- standalone baseline credit assessment raised to baa1 from baa2

The following ratings have been upgraded:

Danske Bank A/S

--- long-term local-currency/foreign-currency bank deposit and foreign-currency senior unsecured to A3 Stable outlook from Baa1 Positive outlook

--- long-term local-currency/foreign-currency deposit note/CD program to (P)A3 from (P)Baa1

--- foreign-currency senior unsecured MTN to (P)A3 from (P) Baa1

--- long-term issuer rating to A3 Stable outlook from Baa1 Positive outlook

--- foreign-currency junior subordinate to Baa3 (hyb) Stable outlook from Ba1 (hyb) Positive outlook

--- foreign-currency preferred stock to Ba1 (hyb) Stable outlook from Ba2 (hyb) Positive outlook

Danske Bank A/S (London Branch)

--- foreign-currency long-term deposit note/CD program to (P)A3 from (P)Baa1

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following rating and outlook has been affirmed:

Danske Bank A/S's

--- BFSR of C- Stable outlook

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The following short-term ratings have been affirmed:

Danske Bank A/S

--- P-2 foreign-currency commercial paper

--- P-2 foreign-currency short-term deposit note/CD program

--- P-2 local-currency/foreign-currency short-term bank deposits

--- (P)P-2 local-currency short-term deposit note/CD program; and the

--- foreign-currency (P)P-2 other short-term

Danske Bank A/S (London Branch)

--- (P)P-2 foreign-currency short-term deposit note/CD program

Danske Corporation

---P-2 backed foreign-currency commercial paper

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Global Banks published in July 2014. 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.

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.

Kim Bergoe
VP - Senior Credit Officer
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

Simon Harris
MD-Gbl Ins and Mgd Invests
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 upgrades Danske Bank to A3; outlook stable
No Related Data.
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