Just as it appeared that Spain could not have any more bad news because there is none left to have, Moody’s downgraded 28 banks in Spain and released a spreadsheet with long-term ratings and ratings of subordinated debt.
The agency’s statement:
Moody’s Investors Service has today downgraded by one to four notches the long-term debt and deposit ratings for 28 Spanish banks and two issuer ratings. Today’s actions follow the weakening of the Spanish government’s creditworthiness, as captured by Moody’s downgrade of Spain’s government bond ratings to Baa3 from A3 on 13 June 2012, and the initiation of a review for further downgrade. Moody’s adds that today’s downgrades of the long-term debt and deposit ratings also reflect the lowering of most of these banks’ standalone credit assessments. The debt and deposit ratings declined by one notch for three banks, by two notches for 11 banks, by three notches for ten banks and by four notches for six banks. The short-term ratings for 19 banks have also been downgraded between one and two notches, triggered by the long-term ratings changes.
Today’s actions reflect, to various degrees across these banks, two main drivers:
(i) Moody’s assessment of the reduced creditworthiness of the Spanish sovereign, which not only affects the government’s ability to support the banks, but also weighs on banks’ standalone credit profiles, and
(ii) Moody’s expectation that the banks’ exposures to commercial real estate (CRE) will likely cause higher losses, which might increase the likelihood that these banks will require external support. This notwithstanding, Moody’s views positively the broad based support measures being introduced by the Spanish government to support the Spanish banking system as a whole. Moody’s will assess the impact of the upcoming recapitalization on banks’ creditworthiness and bondholders once the final amount, timing and form of funds flowing to each individual bank are known.
The ratings of both Banco Santander and Santander Consumer Finance are one notch higher than the sovereign’s rating, due to the high degree of geographical diversification of their balance sheet and income sources, and a manageable level of direct exposure to Spanish sovereign debt relative to their Tier 1 capital, including under stress scenarios. All the rest of the affected banks’ standalone ratings are now at or below Spain’s Baa3 rating. In addition, Moody’s has also downgraded (i) the ratings for senior subordinated debt and hybrid instruments of affected entities; (ii) all rated government-backed debt issuances from Spanish banks; and (iii) the long-term debt ratings of Instituto de Credito Oficial (ICO), which are based on an unconditional and irrevocable guarantee from the Spanish Government. Please click this link for the list of Affected Credit Ratings. This list is an integral part of this press release and identifies each affected issuer.
Douglas A. McIntyre