UniCredit announces that today the rating agency Moody's has concluded the reviews for possible downgrade initiated in May 2007 on its ratings, confirming the Aa2 long-term deposit rating and the B- financial strength rating (BFSR) of UniCredit SpA and the Aa3 long-term deposit rating of Locat.
The outlook on all the ratings of UniCredit and Locat is stable.
Moody's has upgraded Capitalia's long-term deposit rating to Aa2, simultaneously withdrawing it.
These rating actions follow the completion of the merger between the UniCredit and Capitalia Groups.
Attached the complete text of Moody's press release with details of today's rating actions on UniCredit and former Capitalia Group's companies.
Milan, October 2, 2007
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Moody's confirms UniCredito Italiano's Aa2/B- ratings; Stable outlook
Upgrades Capitalia to Aa2 and will withdraw ratings; Capitalia's former subsidiaries' ratings also affected
London, 02 October 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service today carried out various rating actions following the completion of the merger between the UniCredito Italiano ("UniCredito") and Capitalia banking groups. Moody's confirmed the Aa2 long-term deposit and debt ratings, and the B- bank financial strength rating ("BFSR") of UniCredito. It also upgraded the long-term deposit and debt ratings and BFSR of Capitalia to Aa2/B- from A1/C-. Capitalia's ratings will be withdrawn.
As regards Capitalia's rated subsidiaries, Moody's upgraded the long-term deposit and debt ratings of Banca di Roma ("BdR") and Bipop Carire ("Bipop") to Aa3 from A1, confirmed the A1 long-term deposit and debt ratings of Banco di Sicilia ("BdS") and will withdraw them, while the A2 debt and deposit ratings of MCC remain on review for possible upgrade. The Aa3 long-term deposit rating of Locat, UniCredito's leasing subsidiary, whose ratings reflect support from its parent, was also confirmed. The deposit and debt ratings of numerous other subsidiaries of the UniCredito group in Germany, Austria and across Central and Eastern Europe benefit from the expectation of support from UniCredito, and these are unaffected by this rating action.
These rating actions conclude the reviews initiated in May 2007 -- for possible downgrade in the case of UniCredito and Locat and for possible upgrade in the case of Capitalia, BdR, BdS and Bipop -- following the announcement of the proposed integration between the two banking groups. The outlook on all the ratings of UniCredito and Locat is now stable. The outlook on the long-term debt and deposit ratings and BFSRs of BdR, BdS and Bipop was changed to positive from stable.
Moody's said that its decision to confirm the ratings of UniCredito reflects: (i) the fact that the acquisition of Capitalia significantly strengthens UniCredito's position in the Italian domestic banking market, and offers considerable potential synergies, (ii) UniCredito's strong track record in implementing acquisitions, including that of HVB, in recent years, (iii) the equity-funded nature of the transaction, which preserves the group's capital ratios, (iv) the limited impact on financial fundamentals, including profitability and efficiency, also due to Capitalia's limited size relative to UniCredito and (v) the good progress made in integrating HVB since its acquisition in 2005, which ensures that management will have capacity to focus on integrating Capitalia. However, the rating agency also noted that UniCredito's asset quality and capital adequacy indicators are somewhat weaker than those of similarly rated peers, and commented that the confirmation of the ratings reflects the expectation that these indicators will see improvement in the coming 12 to 18 months.
Capitalia's ratings are upgraded to the same level as UniCredito's and will be withdrawn as a result of its incorporation into UniCredito immediately upon consummation of the acquisition.
The upgrade of the long-term debt and deposit ratings of BdR and Bipop (the latter to be merged into UniCredit Banca) and the confirmation of BdS's long-term debt and deposit ratings are supported (i) by the anticipation of these banks' strategic positioning as the only retail banking arms of the UniCredito group in their respective geographical areas following the group's divisional model, and (ii) by Moody's expectation of very high dependence and probability of parental support. Consequently, these ratings benefit from a three-notch uplift, to Aa3 from their A3 Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) for BdR and Bipop and to A1 from a BCA of Baa1 for BdS. Moody's added that there are no rated BdS bonds outstanding and all of BdS's ratings are withdrawn for business reasons, while Bipop's ratings will be withdrawn upon its incorporation into UniCredit Banca, which is planned sometime before the end of 2008. Please refer to Moody's Withdrawal Policy on moodys.com.
The positive outlook on these three banks' BFSRs and their long-term deposit and debt ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation of high levels of integration -- with key functions centralised at the holding level, as well as of improvements in these banks' standalone financial profiles following their new retail-only focus, the adoption of the new group's policies and procedures, and the benefits of potential synergies -- an expectation which is supported by UniCredito's strong track record in integrating acquisitions.
Under UniCredito's business plan, MCC will become the group's reference company for public sector lending -- a sector in which, Moody's noted, the UniCredito group has not traditionally been particularly active. The ongoing review for possible upgrade of MCC's ratings will therefore consider how strategic this activity -- and therefore MCC -- will be in the enlarged group. The expectation of high integration within its new group and improvements in its financial profile deriving both from its new focus on a generally low-risk business as well as from the implementation of UniCredito's policies and procedures and the benefits of potential synergies underpin the positive outlook on the bank's BFSR.
The following ratings were confirmed with a stable outlook:
UniCredito Italiano SpA: long-term debt and deposits at Aa2; subordinated debt at Aa3; junior subordinated debt at Aa3, Tier 3 debt at Aa3; bank financial strength at B-
UniCredito Italiano Capital Trust I: preferred stock at A1
UniCredito Italiano Capital Trust II: preferred stock at A1
UniCredito Italiano Capital Trust III: preferred stock at A1
UniCredito Italiano Capital Trust IV: preferred stock at A1
UniCredito Italiano Bank (Ireland) plc: backed long-term senior debt at Aa2
UniCredito Italiano SpA (Paris Branch): long-term deposits at Aa2
UniCredito Italiano SpA (New York Branch): long-term deposits at Aa2
UniCredit Luxembourg Finance SA: backed long-term senior debt at Aa2; backed subordinated debt at Aa3; backed Tier III debt at Aa3
Locat SpA: long-term issuer rating at Aa3
The following ratings were upgraded and will be withdrawn:
Capitalia: long-term deposit and debt ratings to Aa2 from A1, BFSR to B- from C-, subordinated to Aa3 from A2, junior subordinated to Aa3 from A2, Tier 3 at Aa3 from A2
The following ratings were upgraded:
Banca di Roma SpA: long-term debt and deposits to Aa3 from A1
Bipop-Carire SpA: long-term debt and deposits at Aa3 from A1
The following ratings remains on review for possible upgrade:
MCC SpA: long-term debt and deposits at A2
Zivnostenska Banka: financial strength rating at D
The outlook on the following ratings was changed to positive from stable:
Banca di Roma SpA: long-term debt deposits at Aa3, BFSR at C
Bipop-Carire SpA: long-term debt and deposits at Aa3, BFSR at C
MCC: BFSR at C
The outlook on the following ratings was changed to positive from stable and will be withdrawn:
Banco di Sicilia SpA: long-term debt and deposits at A1, BFSR at C-
The following ratings were confirmed and will be withdrawn:
Banco di Sicilia SpA: long-term debt and deposits at A1
The following ratings were affirmed:
Bank Austria Creditanstalt: long-term debt and deposits at Aa2; bank financial strength at C+
Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank: long-term debt and deposits at A1; bank financial strength at C-
Zagrebacka Banka: long-term deposits at A2; financial strength rating at D+
Zivnostenska Banka: long-term deposits at A2;
Bank Polska Kasa Opieki SA: long-term deposits at Aa3; financial strength rating at C
Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi AS: long-term deposits at A3; financial strength rating at D+
Headquartered in Milan, Italy, UniCredito Italiano had total assets of EUR823 billion as at 31 December 2006.
Headquartered in Rome, Italy, Capitalia had total assets of EUR137 billion as at 31 December 2006.
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