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Moody's changes outlook on Crédit Agricole Group units to positive from stable

Moody's on July 5 changed the outlook to positive from stable on the A1 long-term bank deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings of the rated entities of Crédit Agricole Group, including Crédit Agricole SA, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and the Caisses Régionales de Crédit Agricole Mutuel, and affirmed the ratings.

The rating agency also affirmed and changed the outlook on Crédit Agricole SA's A1 long-term issuer rating and the A1 backed senior unsecured debt ratings of Crédit Agricole CIB, Crédit Agricole CIB Finance (Guernsey) Ltd., Credit Agricole CIB Financial Solutions and Crédit Agricole CIB Financial Prod. (Guernsey) Ltd. to positive from stable.

In addition, Moody's changed the outlook to positive from stable on the A1 senior unsecured debt rating of Credit Agricole SA London Branch and the A1 long-term bank deposit ratings of Crédit Agricole CIB New York Branch and Crédit Agricole CIB Tokyo Branch and affirmed them, among other ratings.

Also affirmed were the P-1 short-term bank deposit ratings, "baa1" adjusted baseline credit assessments, Aa3(cr)/P-1(cr) long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments and Aa3/P-1 long- and short-term counterparty risk ratings of Crédit Agricole SA and Crédit Agricole CIB, as well as Crédit Agricole SA's "baa3" baseline credit assessment and Crédit Agricole CIB's "ba2" baseline credit assessment.

Moody's said the outlook change mainly reflects further expected improvements in Crédit Agricole Group's capitalization, noting that the group's target common equity Tier 1 ratio of 16% by the end of 2019 is ambitious and sets it apart from other large European banking groups, and that the target is achievable owing to the group's capacity to retain the vast majority of its net income.

Moody's added that it could upgrade Crédit Agricole SA's adjusted baseline credit assessment if the group reaches its target CET1 ratio, with the upgrade likely leading to similar action on all debt and deposit ratings of Crédit Agricole SA, Crédit Agricole CIB, the Caisses Régionales de Crédit Agricole Mutuel and their backed subsidiaries.