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Rating Action:

Moody's upgrades UniCredit MCC to A1

20 Nov 2008
Moody's upgrades UniCredit MCC to A1

BFSR downgraded to C-

Milan, November 20, 2008 -- Moody's Investors Service today upgraded the long-term deposit rating of UniCredit MCC (MCC) to A1 from A2, and downgraded the bank's Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR) to C- from C. The Prime-1 short-term deposit rating was unaffected by this rating action. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

Moody's said that MCC's C- BFSR, which equates to a Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of Baa1, reflects its emerging position as the UniCredit group entity specialising in public sector financing, project and export finance and the administration of government subsidised funding schemes. The rating also factors in the benefits of being part of the UniCredit group, with access to the group's resources, distribution and client base on an ongoing basis.

Moody's said that MCC's A1 long-term global local currency (GLC) deposit rating reflects the expectation of a very high probability of parental support from MCC's parent, UniCredit (rated Aa3/P-1/C+), under Moody's joint default analysis (JDA) methodology. Hence the 3-notch uplift from MCC's Baa1 BCA to its GLC deposit rating of A1.

MCC was previously controlled by Capitalia, which was acquired by UniCredit in October 2007. Under Capitalia, MCC was positioned as a corporate bank, also active in areas such as leasing and factoring. Under UniCredit, MCC is being refocused on public sector financing, project and export financing and administration of government subsidised funding schemes. This repositioning is now well advanced, but will not be fully complete until the middle of 2009.

According to Moody's, MCCs C- BFSR reflects on the one hand the bank's relatively limited position in its chosen market, where it lags stronger Italian competitors such as the government owned Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (rated Aa2), Dexia Crediop (rated A1/P-1/C) and BIIS (rated Aa3/P-1/C+) which is owned by Intesa Sanpaolo. However Moody's also noted that MCC has full access to the UniCredit group's client base and distribution, and its expertise and resources in areas such as funding and risk management. The rating agency also noted MCCs strong capitalisation, with a Tier 1 ratio of 14% at September 2008, and steps being taken to eliminate non-performing loans from MCC and reduce borrower concentration. Moody's said that it expects that MCC will maintain strong capital ratios and a low risk profile going forward.

MCC's long-term deposit rating is now positioned one notch below the Aa3 long-term deposit rating of UniCredit. This compares to the rating of UniCredit's Italian mortgage lending subsidiary, UniCredit Banca per la Casa, which benefits from two notches of uplift from its A2 BCA, to position the rating at Aa3 in line with UniCredit. For MCC to achieve a similar rating level would require either a multi-notch upgrade in the bank's BFSR and BCA, or an increased expectation of parental support. Either of these situations would require substantial progress in implementing MCC's strategy and should therefore be seen as longer term objectives, as also reflected in the stable outlook for MCCs ratings.

The last rating action on MCC was in October 2007, when the review for possible upgrade of the bank's A2 long-term deposit rating was affirmed, following the completion of the acquisition of Capitalia by UniCredit.

MCC is headquartered in Rome, Italy. At June 30th 2008 it had total assets of EUR 10.5 billion.

London
Johannes Wassenberg
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Milan
Henry MacNevin
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
Telephone:+39-02-9148-1100

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