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UniCredit: Fitch Ratings modifica i rating del Gruppo

UniCredito Italiano comunica che in data odierna l'agenzia di rating Fitch ha ridotto i rating assegnati a UniCredito Italiano SpA a "A+" (da "AA-") per i debiti a lungo termine e a "F1" (da "F1+") per quelli a breve termine. L'outlook è stabile. Fitch ha invece innalzato a "1" (da "2") il support rating del Gruppo.

Contestualmente Fitch ha alzato rispettivamente a "A" (da "A-") e a "F1" (da "F2") i rating di lungo e di breve termine di Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank e Bank Austria Creditanstalt, con outlook stabili.

Tali azioni, che fanno seguito alla messa sotto osservazione dei rating sopra menzionati effettuata da Fitch contestualmente all'ufficializzazione della possibile aggregazione tra i gruppi UniCredit ed HVB, sono riconducibili al successo dell'offerta d'acquisto promossa da UniCredit sul gruppo HVB.

UniCredit precisa che le menzionate azioni di Fitch erano attese, in virtù dei differenti livelli di rating assegnati dall'agenzia stessa ai gruppi UniCredit ed HVB prima dell'annuncio dell'integrazione.

In allegato il testo integrale del comunicato stampa di Fitch Ratings contenente il dettaglio di tutte le rating actions odierne sulle società dei gruppi UniCredit ed HVB.

Contatti:
Media Relations:
Tel. +39 02 88628236; e-mail: Uci.Ufficiostampa@unicredit.it
Investor Relations:
Tel. + 39 02 88628715; e-mail: UCI-InvestorRelations@unicredit.it


ALLEGATO


TESTO INTEGRALE DEL COMUNICATO STAMPA DI FITCH RATINGS


Fitch Downgrades UniCredito; Upgrades HVB

Fitch Ratings-London/Frankfurt/Milan-28 October 2005: Fitch Ratings has today downgraded UniCredito Italiano's ("UCI") ratings to Long-term 'A+' from 'AA-'(AA minus), Short-term 'F1' from 'F1+' and Individual 'B/C' from 'B' and removed them from Rating Watch Negative. A Stable Outlook is now in place. The bank's Support rating is upgraded to '1' from '2'. This follows the successful outcome of UCI's bid to acquire at least 65% of HVB's capital.

Fitch has also upgraded Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank's ("HVB") ratings to Long-term 'A' from 'A-'(A minus), Short-term 'F1' from 'F2' and Individual 'C/D', from 'D' and removed them from Rating Watch Positive. A Stable Outlook is now in place. Its Support rating is affirmed at '1'. The agency has also taken rating actions on UCI's and HVB's subsidiaries and debt as listed below.

The downgrade on UCI reflects Fitch's view of the execution risk in integrating the entities involved in the transaction and the initially weaker regulatory capital ratios of the new group (likely to be, according to Fitch calculation, around core Tier 1 5%, total Tier 1 of 6.4% and total capital of nearly 10%% at end-2005 calculated under Basel regulations and IFRS). The downgrade also takes into account the merged group's vulnerability to Germany's sluggish economic performance. The upgrade in Support reflects the increased probability of support from the relevant authorities in case of need, given the merged bank's internationally systemic importance as one of the ten largest banks in Europe.

The upgrade of HVB reflects Fitch's recognition of the potential support flowing from UCI. In the first instance, this support would be operational but the agency also considers that in case of need, UCI would provide liquidity and solvency support to the extent permitted by the Italian regulatory authorities.

UCI will finance the acquisition by issuing new UCI shares for those of HVB. While the capital increase was approved by UCI's extraordinary shareholders' meeting in July 2005, the share exchange will occur in the second half of November 2005. UCI has also made an offer for the minority interests of Bank Austria Creditanstalt ("BACA") and will make an offer for the minority interests of Bank BPH SA ("BPH") in Poland once regulatory clearance is received. The exact mix of financing for the BACA and BPH offers is still uncertain but will involve variable amounts of UCI shares and cash. UCI's offer for BACA is due to close by mid-November 2005 while political and regulatory uncertainty means that no dates have yet been set for the BPH bid, although it is likely to be postponed to end-2005/early 2006. The outcome of these two bids is therefore likely to cause some limited movement in UCI's regulatory capital ratios. However, this has already been taken into account in today's downgrade. In the short term, the acquisition puts significant pressure on UCI's capital and Fitch will monitor closely capital generation, which on current projections is expected to be reasonably strong. However, any material unexpected deterioration in the group's capital could result in downward pressure on ratings.

The new bank will have total assets of EUR730 billion, equity in excess of EUR30bn and over 7,000 branches. It will be a market leader in Germany, Italy and Austria. By consolidating the two bank's existing extensive franchises in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), it will become the dominant player across CEE.

UCI
Senior notes downgraded to Long-term 'A+' from 'AA-' (AA minus) and removed from RWN
Lower Tier 2 subordinated notes downgraded to Long-term 'A' from 'A+' and removed from RWN
Upper Tier 2 subordinated notes downgraded to Long-term 'A' from 'A+' and removed from RWN
Tier 1 notes downgraded to Long-term 'A' from 'A+' and removed from RWN
Tier 3 subordinated notes downgraded to Long-term 'A-' (A minus) from 'A' and removed from RWN

UCI subsidiaries
Bank Pekao of Poland affirmed at Long-term 'A' and Short-term 'F1' and removed from Rating Watch Evolving and RWN respectively. Stable Outlook is assigned. Individual and Support ratings are affirmed at 'C' and '1' respectively (see related statement published today on www fitchratings.com).

Bulgaria's Bulbank affirmed at Support '2'

Croatia's Zagrebacka Banka affirmed at Long-term 'BBB-'(BBB minus), Short-term 'F3', Individual 'C/D', and Support '2'. Outlook is Stable.

Czech Republic's Zivnostenska Banka affirmed at Support '1'

Unicredit Romania S.A. affirmed at Long-term 'BBB-'(BBB minus), Short-term 'F3', Individual 'D', Support '2'. Outlook is Stable

Slovakia's UniBanka affirmed at Support '1'

Turkey's Kocbank A.S. affirmed at Long-term 'BB-'(BB minus), Short-term 'B', Long-term Local currency 'BB+', Long-term National rating AA- (AA minus) (tur), Individual 'D', and Support '3'. Outlook is Stable.

Turkey's Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi affirmed at Long-term 'BB-'(BB minus), Short-term 'B', Long-term local currency 'BB+', Long-term National rating AA- (AA minus) (tur) and Support '3'. Outlook is Stable. Individual 'D/E' rating remains on RWP (see separate statements dated 4 February and 5 October 2005 on www fitchratings.com)

HVB
Senior notes upgraded to Long-term 'A' from 'A-' (A minus) and Short-term 'F1' from 'F2' and removed from RWP
Subordinated notes upgraded to Long-term 'A-' (A minus) from 'BBB+' and removed from RWP
Tier 1 notes upgraded to Long-term 'A-' from 'BBB-' (BBB minus) and removed from RWP

HVB subsidiaries

BACA of Austria upgraded to Long-term 'A' from 'A-' (A minus) and Short-term 'F1' from 'F2' and removed from RWP. Stable Outlook is assigned. Individual and Support ratings affirmed at 'B/C' and '1' respectively.

BPH of Poland upgraded to Support '1' from '2' and removed from RWP (see related statement published today on www fitchratings.com).

International Moscow Bank upgraded to Long-term 'BBB' from 'BB' and Short-term 'F3' from 'B' and removed from RWP. Stable Outlook is assigned. Support upgraded to '2' from '3'. Long-term local currency rating of 'BBB+' is assigned. Individual rating is affirmed at 'C/D' (see related statement published today on www fitchratings.com).

Croatia's HVB Splitska Banka ("HSB") affirmed at Support '2'. Fitch expects the Croatian regulator to force a sale of HSB on antitrust grounds. At the same time, it expects HSB to be acquired by a bank able to provide an equally strong level of support as BACA.