S&P Downgrades Over 20 Italian Banks, Says Difficult Climate Is Neither "Transitory" Nor "Easily Reversed"

Tyler Durden's picture

Another day, another pervasive downgrade action by S&P.

Tougher Economic Prospects And Rising Sovereign Risk Prompt Negative Rating Actions On Italian Banks

  • Renewed market tensions in the eurozone's periphery, particularly in Italy, and dimming growth prospects have in our view led to further deterioration in the operating environment for Italy's banks.
  • We think funding costs for the banks will increase noticeably because of higher yields on Italian sovereign debt. Furthermore, higher funding costs for both the banking and corporate sectors are likely to result in tighter credit conditions and weaker economic activity in the short-to-medium term.
  • We are revising downward our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) on the Republic of Italy (unsolicited ratings, A/Negative/A-1) to Group 3 from Group 2, and lowering the economic risk score, a subcomponent of the BICRA, to 3 from 2.
  • We are taking negative rating actions on 24 banks and financial institutions and affirming our ratings on 19 banks.

MILAN (Standard & Poor's) Oct. 18, 2011--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it revised the ratings on multiple Italian financial institutions (see list below).

Today's rating actions result from our review of the implications of a tougher-than-previously-anticipated macroeconomic and financial environment
for the Italian banks.

In our opinion, renewed market tensions in the eurozone's periphery, particularly in Italy, and dimming growth prospects have led to further deterioration in the operating environment for Italian banks. We also think the cost of funding for Italian banks will increase noticeably because of higher yields on Italian sovereign debt. Furthermore, we expect the higher funding costs for both banks and corporates to result in tighter credit conditions and weaker economic activity in the short-to-medium term.

We do not believe that this difficult operating climate is transitory or that it will be easily reversed. In our view, funding costs for Italian banks and corporates will remain noticeably higher than those in other eurozone countries unless the Italian government implements workable growth-enhancing measures and achieves a faster reduction in the public sector debt burden. Consequently, we envisage a situation where the Italian banks may well be operating with a competitive disadvantage versus their peers in other eurozone countries. At the same time, we think all banking systems across the eurozone, including Italy, may raise their commitment to reinforcing banks' capitalization.

In our view, these developments are significantly different from the expectations we had previously factored into our ratings on Italian banks (see "Italian Banks Are Facing A Tricky Recovery," published April 14, 2011 on RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal). In our view, Italian banks' profitability could decline in the next couple of years, given the likely sizable increase in their funding costs, volatility in the capital markets, and reduced prospects for credit growth. We are also of the view that Italy's slowing economic growth in 2012 could impede improvements in Italian banks' asset quality and further strain their creditworthiness.

We have also revised our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) on the Republic of Italy's banking system to Group 3 from Group 2 (see "Italy Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Revised Down To 3 From 2 On Heightened Economic Risk," published today). Our BICRA rankings integrate our view of the strengths and weaknesses of a country's banking system compared with those of other countries. The BICRA change reflects our view of the increased economic and industry risks that Italy is facing and their impact on its banking system. The change incorporates the revision of our economic risk score, a subcomponent of the BICRA, for Italy to '3' from '2'.

Today's rating actions follow our previous downgrades of other Italian banks in September 2011, after we lowered our sovereign ratings on Italy (see "Italy Unsolicited Ratings Lowered To 'A/A-1' On Weaker Growth Prospects, Uncertain Policy Environment; Outlook Negative", published Sept. 19, 2011, and "Seven Downgrades And Eight Outlook Revisions To Negative On Italian Banks After Sovereign Downgrade," published Sept. 21, 2011).

As of today, our ratings on 22 out of 43 Italian financial institutions carry negative outlooks. These reflect the negative outlook on the Republic of Italy and/or the potential for downside risk in our current expectations, either because the macroeconomic environment could deteriorate or because the effect on an individual bank's financial profile under our baseline scenario could be greater than expected.


Downgraded                                                    To                   From
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA
Counterparty Credit Rating
                                                            BBB+/Stable/A-2      A-/Stable/A-2
Banco Popolare Societa Cooperativa SCRL
Credito Bergamasco
Banca Aletti & C. SpA
                                                            BBB/Stable/A-2       A-/Negative/A-2
Unione di Banche Italiane Scpa
                                                              A-/Stable/A-2        A/Negative/A-1
Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna S.C.
                                                          BBB+/Stable/A-2      A-/Stable/A-2
Banca Popolare di Milano SCRL
Banca Akros SpA
                                                        BBB+/Negative/A-2    A-/Stable/A-2
Banca Carige SpA                               BBB+/Negative/A-2    A-/Negative/A-2
Banca Popolare di Vicenza ScpA
                                                        BBB/Stable/A-2       BBB+/Stable/A-2
Credito Emiliano SpA                           BBB+/Stable/A-2      A-/Stable/A-2
Veneto Banca SCPA                            BBB/Negative/A-2     BBB+/Negative/A-2
Cassa di Risparmio della Provincia di Teramo SpA
                                                        BB+/Negative/B       BBB/Negative/A-2
Cassa di Risparmio di Cento SpA
                                                        BB+/Stable/B         BBB-/Stable/A-3
Banca Popolare dell'Alto Adige
                                                        BBB+/Stable/A-2      A-/Stable/A-2
Banca di Bologna                               BB+/Stable/B         BBB-/Stable/A-3
Iccrea Holding SpA
Iccrea Banca SpA
Iccrea BancaImpresa SpA
                                                       BBB+/Stable/A-2      A-/Negative/A-2
Agos-Ducato SpA                               A-/Negative/A-2      A/Negative/A-1
Farmafactoring SpA                          BBB-/Stable/A-3      BBB/Stable/A-2
Banca Mediocredito del Friuli-Venezia Giulia SpA
                                                      BBB+/Stable/A-2      A-/Negative/A-2
BancaSai SpA                                   BB/Negative/B        BB+/Negative/B

Outlook Revised
                       To                   From
Banca di Credito Cooperativo San Marzano di San Giuseppe S.c.r.l.
                                                     BBB-/Negative/A-3    BBB-/Stable/A-3

CreditWatch Status Revised To Negative
                       To                   From
Dexia Crediop SpA                          BBB+/Watch Neg/A-2   BBB+/Watch Dev/A-2

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Ctrl-Alt-Defeat's picture
MPs to vote on call for referendum on UK leaving the EU
Cash_is_Trash's picture

Seems they're not cutting fast enough.

You are either solvent or not.

Nascent_Variable's picture

I'm sure Cameron will get right on that, considering all his promises in the election.


The referendum will never happen, because EU membership would be shot down 80 to 20.

jdelano's picture

Again, sparing at least 15 people the effort.



Cash_is_Trash's picture

A Frech ratings cut will do the uber-bullish trick.

boom goes the dynamite's picture

so when the full on collapse occurs, will I need lawyers, guns, and money--or just guns?

Little John's picture

You will need the guns to shoot the lawyers.

TheLooza's picture

all you need is love, love.






love is all you need.

TheLooza's picture

also bullets for your love.

disabledvet's picture

My vote is "From Russia with Love" myself.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Milan & Rome riot cam live feed upcoming...

... is this the beginning of a HFT-lead hyperinflation?

Irish66's picture

I feel for Portugal, they are gonna get creamed in all this.

Cash_is_Trash's picture

I feel not for Greece, for they cheated themselves into the mess.

TheLooza's picture

Oh fuck, this should be a good for another S&P pop. 



Great Unwashed's picture

Absolutely. The worse things get, the greater the chance of a nuclear bailout.

Seasmoke's picture

i say give them all the boot

jdelano's picture

tylers--real question for yous.  How do they keep assassinating the vix?  There can't be that many players hyper-day trading puts..  

Dick Darlington's picture

And S&P 20 points off the lows... Would like to say FUBAR but it feels too mild of an expression.

Ronaldo's picture

Soon to be a new  report ' All stocks have been sold, market can only go up from here "

MFL8240's picture

Gold down while the world of confetti collapses.  This is the biggest fucking joke I have ever wittnessed in this country.

disabledvet's picture

Looks like the joke's on you. Now let us reflect upon the appearance of none other than the Joker himself shall we?

Quinvarius's picture

Stocks are only up for the same reason gold will be over 2000 by the end of the year.  Someone is printing a lot of money right now.  I wouldn't worry about gold raids.  Gold always takes out the trash.

PicassoInActions's picture

why CNBC circus does not report that yet? Are they giving enough time for market to be propt? 

May be algos need some time to start reversing...

Threeggg's picture

ummm.../ 'Rome we have a problem'..............breaker..breaker..1-9 this is Houston "go full throttle up" and disregard any transmission from Italy...."Roger that Houston"............"going full throttle up" !

TradingJoe's picture


Cash_is_Trash's picture

Just sold the dog and pony tickets to stick around and watch mainstream news.

Austerity comes with commercials

andybev01's picture

...commercials that want to buy your "worn out gold" (fukkin love that phrase) or to sell you junk on credit.

vote_libertarian_party's picture

What's the problem? 

Italy creates some funny money.  Gives it to the EFSF.  The EFSF buys Italian bonds.


Sounds like a win win plan for everybody!!!


(must buy some more cheap 2013 TBT calls)

disabledvet's picture

Fascism dies hard in the place where it all began. They knew what to do once the euro came along: take the gold and give "the other people's" as the trade. Invasion is out of the question... there is expansionism of course. Wrong guy in charge for that of course.

Mark123's picture

Talk about pathetic - who thinks the Italian banking system is not completely corrupted and bankrupt?  This is really closing the barn door a few months/years after the horse disappeared.


Still, I suppose it does make the MSM a little uncomfortable, so that is worth something.

SheepDog-One's picture

Lots of bank downgrades, solid positives for stock melt-ups across the board!

Quinvarius's picture

Somewhere behind the scenes a plan has been hatched.  Most likely it will involve CNBC hacks bad mouthing ratings agencies while the Federal Reserve loans out 30 trillion dollars at 0% to whoever shows up.

valley chick's picture

What goes up ..must come down?  Question is when?

luigi's picture

According to the law of gravity yes, but there is no more rule of law here...

Cone of Uncertainty's picture

I'm about to downgrade into the toilet...see you guys in a few.

Corn1945's picture

Ratings downgrades have no effect on the markets anymore. Stocks totally shrug them off.

0ppenheimer's picture

Time to replace the head of S&P again?

sabra1's picture

while drunk, i asked my paint thinner! are you solvent or not?

ivars's picture

This is reposted from here, but may be interesting, as I currency pairs, groups will long term tell a lot what is going to happen in this unipolar  world when its major reserve currency collapses in 2016  ( after the other, EUR, will start collapsing already in early 2012 but French and German and some other strong Northern countries start to clean Eurozone up):


I have considered GBP/USD - but not in too great detail- can someone present me with the most advanced financial charting and analysis soft

From what I have considered, it seems (but I have to check, too many charts, I also want to be able to study ratios (not only forex-any) charts of even triple ratio charts or triple surface charts (1 price as function of 2 others)  with movable/stretchable time scales, log-log plots etc) that after Eurozone final cleanup in 2013, from 2014 GPB will be pegged to the USD in rather narrow 0,71 GPB per USD +-2% corridor. in 2016, with USA default, GBP will obvioulsy move up into 0,5 GPB per GPB within 2 years. Before 2014, GPB will be also stable to USD at 0,62 GPB per USD, but inflationary pressures will mount.

Also, relatively stable vs. USD during 2014 will be CHF and especially CAD. JPY may even grow from 2013 vs, USD. The big sufferer in USD index is EUR.

One more interesting thing ( I have not been able to make any meaningful assessment of Yuan) is that one currency that will appreciate against USD starting already from 2014 will be PLN, and perhaps, CZK. What it tells, is, that not only these countries have developed good industrial base in post soviet years, but also, that GERMAN economic machine will be running full speed after 2013 German federal elections (between 1 September and 27 October 2013) adn expose confidence that it will continue running . From the chart I had published earlier elsewhere:

USD per EUR 2011-2018

Old EUR USD 2011_2017.png (70.71 KB) Viewed 1 time

One can see that something happens during early 2013 and than especially in end of 2013 when EUR temporarily takes back lost ground to USD. One of the possible reasons is that French elections in 2012 gives hope, while German in end of 2013 seals EUROZONE cleanup act in what ever form. After that , from UDS per EUR graph its clear, that, either as usual , promises are not kept or new factors arise that makes impossible for them to be kept ( and forces US to peg to USD to stoke inflation).

Such ideas about GBP, etc. I will come with more graphs as soon I am able to make them( takes DAYS of working itme/chart)


Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

I wondered why markets climbed back up today.

BUT ,does this not make the S&P TERRORIST.


citrine's picture

It's quite funny that they used the word "transitory" .

AngryGerman's picture

transitory to total oblivion

no more spaghetti banks

Snakeeyes's picture

Wait for the French downgrade!!!!!!!!


Yields are blowing up in France. 

Spigot's picture

What I find incredibly cunning is that these "Rating Agencies" seem to be focusing all their attention on Europe after having absolutely screwed the pooch for decades with regard to US corps and govs. It is looking more and more to me like the US it trying to cause Europe to fail in order to cover its own transgressions. Then can "blame" Europe for the failure of the world economic and financial failure. As we know "the victors write the histories", or as an extention "the ones who do not fail first write the news stories".