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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades Eco Futuro's deposit ratings

Global Credit Research - 31 Mar 2011

Buenos Aires, March 31, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service upgraded Fondo Financiero Privado Eco Futuro's (Eco Futuro) long term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings to B2 from B3. At the same time, Moody's upgraded Eco Futuro's long term local and foreign currency deposit ratings in the Bolivian national scale to Aa3.bo from A1.bo.

As a consequence of the aforementioned rating action, the rating agency also upgraded Eco Futuro's local currency subordinated debt ratings to B3 from Caa1 in the global scale and to A1.bo from A2.bo in the national scale.

The bank financial strength rating of E+, the short term global local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Not Prime were affirmed, as well as the short term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of BO-1.

The outlook on all the ratings is now stable.

The following ratings were upgraded:

Long-term global local-currency deposit ratings: upgraded to B2, from B3, stable outlook

Long-Term National Scale Local-Currency Deposit Rating: upgraded to Aa3.bo from A1.bo

Long-term global foreign-currency deposit ratings: upgraded to B2, from B3, stable outlook

Long-Term National Scale Foreign-Currency Deposit Rating: upgraded to Aa3.bo from A1.bo

Long-term global local-currency debt rating: upgraded to B3, from Caa1, stable outlook

Long-Term National Scale Local-Currency debt rating: upgraded to A1.bo from A2.bo

The following ratings were affirmed:

Bank Financial Strength Rating of E+

Short-term global local-currency deposit rating of Not Prime

Short-term global foreign-currency deposit rating of Not Prime

Short-term national scale local-currency deposit rating of BO-1

Short-term national scale foreign-currency deposit rating of BO-1

RATINGS RATIONALE

The rating actions are an acknowledgment that Eco Futuro has managed to expand its franchise and consolidate its operations among its peer private financial funds (Fondos Financieros Privados -- FFP), following the completion of its acquisition by FADES in 2008. Eco Futuro now ranks as the second largest FFP in Bolivia in terms of loans (16.4%) and third in terms of assets (14.7%) and has a broader footprint both in rural and urban areas, a position that ensures its access to deposits and customers. FFPs are regulated non-bank banks predominantly focused on micro-lending in Bolivia.

The rating action also incorporates Eco Futuro's improved financial performance, which is reflected in its good profitability and capitalization indicators. In this regard, Moody's said that the entity's net interest margin averaged 14% during the last two years, reaching 16.3% in December 2010. Profitability was essentially supported by recurring earnings generation from lending activities and by adequate asset quality indicators, which are in line with those of microlenders.

Moody's notes that Eco Futuro benefits from economies of scale, as indicated by operating efficiency ratios that are better than peers, as it deals with an environment growing increasingly competitive because of the financial system's abundant liquidity and the consequent pressure for lower margins. Such conditions are typically associated with risky loan origination, and should therefore be monitored. While we observe Eco Futuro's recent moderate growth rate relative to its FFP peers' and a non-performing loan ratio of 1.8% of the total lending book, we are concerned about potential rising household indebtedness that could affect the company's asset quality and profitability in the future. The entity's capital base remained adequate, supported by earnings retention, capital injections and subordinated debt issuances, yielding BIS ratio of 15.5 % as of December 2010.

Moody's also noted the diversification in Eco Futuro's funding sources, led by the increased share of deposits and consequent decline in its reliance on multilateral institutions. As an illustration, the latter represented 13% of total funding as of December 2010, whilst it was 32% by the end of 2008. Deposits gained importance in the funding mix (67% of total funding), although these are still concentrated among the main depositors, a counterparty of the significant participation of institutional investors which gather 24% of the total deposit base.

Moody's noted that the B2 global local-currency deposit rating incorporates the lift of Eco Futuro's baseline credit assessment to B2 from B3, both being mapped from the E+ BFSR.

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 ".bo" for Bolivia. For further information on Moody's approach to national scale ratings, please refer to Moody's Rating Implementation Guidance published in August 2010 entitled "Mapping Moody's National Scale Ratings to Global Scale Ratings."

Fondo Financiero Privado Eco Futuro is headquartered in La Paz, Bolivia, and had, as of December 2010, Bs. 930 million in assets and Bs. 94.8 million in equity.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

Information sources used to prepare the credit rating are the following: parties involved in the ratings, parties not involved in the ratings, public information, confidential and proprietary Moody's Investors Service information.

Moody's Investors Service considers the quality of information available on the issuer or obligation satisfactory for the purposes of maintaining a credit rating.

Moody's adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating 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.

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

The date on which some Credit Ratings were first released goes back to a time before Moody's Investors Service's Credit Ratings were fully digitized and accurate data may not be available. Consequently, Moody's Investors Service 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 the Credit Policy page on Moodys.com for the methodologies used in determining ratings, further information on the meaning of each rating category and the definition of default and recovery.

Buenos Aires
Maria Andrea Manavella
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Latin America, Calificadora de Riesgo
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 4816-2332

New York
M. Celina Vansetti
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Latin America, Calificadora de Riesgo
Cerrito 1186, 11th fl
Buenos Aires C1010AAX
Argentina
JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506
SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 4816-2332

Moody's upgrades Eco Futuro's deposit ratings
No Related Data.
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