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Rating Action:

Moody's withdraws Spain based Banco Popular Espanol, S.A.'s ratings

02 Oct 2018

Madrid, October 02, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service has today withdrawn the A2/Prime-1 long-term and short-term deposit ratings of Banco Popular Espanol, S.A. (Banco Popular). At the same time, Moody's has withdrawn: (1) the bank's baseline credit assessment (BCA) of caa1 and its adjusted BCA of baa1; (2) its MTN ratings of (P)A2/(P)Prime-1; (3) the bank's long-term and short-term counterparty risk assessment of A3(cr)/Prime-2(cr); and (4) the bank's long-term and short-term counterparty risk rating (CRR) of A2/Prime-1. At the time of withdrawal, Banco Popular's long-term deposit ratings carried a stable outlook.

The withdrawal of all rating inputs of Banco Popular and of its deposit, CRR and MTN program ratings reflects the merger by absorption of Banco Popular into Banco Santander S.A. (Spain) (Banco Santander; BCA baa1; A2 stable/(P)A2), following which Banco Popular ceased to exist as separate legal entity.

In addition, the rating on the debt instrument issued by specialized vehicle BPE Financiaciones, S.A., previously guaranteed by Banco Popular, and now guaranteed by Banco Santander, was affirmed at A2 with a stable outlook.

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

RATING RATIONALE

The rating action reflects the completion of the merger by absorption of Banco Santander and its domestic subsidiary Banco Popular, which was approved on 24 April 2018 by the banks' shareholders. The merger became effective on 28 September 2018, after Banco Popular transferred all of its assets and liabilities to Banco Santander. Prior to this action, the ratings of Banco Popular were already aligned with those of Banco Santander, reflecting Moody's views that the risk of the merger not being executed was very limited given the conditions set in the merger document (please see "Moody's upgrades Banco Popular's ratings to A2/Prime-1 from Baa2/Prime-2 " published on 27 April 2018; https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_382883).

Moody's has withdrawn these ratings for reorganisation reasons. Please refer to the Moody's Investors Service's Policy for Withdrawal of Credit Ratings, available on its website, www.moodys.com.

AFFIRMATION OF SENIOR UNSECURED DEBT RATINGS

Moody's affirmation of Banco Popular's supported entity's long-term senior unsecured debt rating at A2 with a stable outlook takes into account the merger by absorption of the bank with its parent Banco Santander. Given that Banco Santander has assumed all of its previous subsidiary's financial obligations, Moody's has maintained these senior unsecured debt ratings aligned with those of Banco Santander.

Upward pressure on the A2 senior unsecured debt ratings is primarily dependent on an upgrade of the bank's home country sovereign, the Government of Spain's rating, given that these ratings already exceed the sovereign rating by two notches and are constrained at that level under our methodology. This reflects our view that asset-loss rates would likely be higher under a sovereign default and that the expected loss of bank's debt and deposits would, therefore, be unlikely to be significantly below that of the sovereign's own debt.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING DOWN

Given the current constraint on the long-term debt ratings by the Spanish sovereign, these ratings would only experience downward pressure in the case of a multi-notch downgrade of Banco Santander's BCA or by a downgrade of Spain's rating.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: Banco Popular Espanol, S.A.

..Withdrawals:

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, previously rated baa1

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, previously rated caa1

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, previously rated A3(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, previously rated P-2(cr)

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Rating, previously rated A2

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Rating, previously rated P-1

.... Long-term Bank Deposits, previously rated A2, outlook changed to Rating Withdrawn from Stable

.... Short-term Bank Deposits, previously rated P-1

.... Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, previously rated (P)A2

.... Other Short Term, previously rated (P)P-1

..Outlook Action:

....Outlook changed to Rating Withdrawn from Stable

Issuer: BPE Financiaciones, S.A.

..Withdrawals:

.... Backed Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, previously rated (P)A2

..Affirmations:

....Backed Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, affirmed A2 Stable

..Outlook Actions:

....Outlook remains Stable

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in August 2018. Please see the Rating Methodologies 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 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.

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.

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.

Maria Vinuela
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Calle Principe de Vergara, 131, 6 Planta
Madrid 28002
Spain
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Carola Schuler
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Espana, S.A.
Calle Principe de Vergara, 131, 6 Planta
Madrid 28002
Spain
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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