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Moody's places Depfa Bank's ratings on review for upgrade

Moody's on March 23 placed on review for upgrade DEPFA BANK Plc and wholly owned unit DEPFA ACS BANK DAC's Baa2/P-2 long- and short-term bank deposit ratings, "ba3" baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments and Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr) long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments, as well as Depfa Bank's Baa2 senior unsecured debt rating.

The ratings actions reflect Moody's assessment that both entities' baseline credit assessments are under upward pressure, given improving capitalization and reduced asset risk brought by the continued wind-down of the Depfa group's balance sheet and risk-weighted assets, the resulting improvement in Depfa Bank's capital adequacy ratios and leverage, and Depfa Bank's efforts to contain operating losses, the agency said.

Moody's said it will assess Depfa Bank's progress in risk-weighted asset reduction, its cost containment efforts and overall profitability outlook when it publishes its 2017 results.

Moody's noted that it does not rule out an upgrade by more than one notch, given the faster-than-anticipated pace and financial implications of the wind-down. Should Depfa Bank continue its positive trend of deleveraging, containing operating losses and preserving its capitalization, the agency said it could upgrade both entities' baseline credit assessments by several notches, leading to higher long-term debt and deposit ratings and potentially higher short-term deposit ratings.