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Moody's updates ratings on four Norwegian banks.

NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-9 September 2009-Moody's updates ratings on four Norwegian banks(C)1994-2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.m2.com

9 September 2009 - Moody's Investor Service announced a ratings downgrade on Norwegian savings banks SpareBanken Ost (OSL: SPOG), SpareBanken Vest (OSL: SVEG) and SpareBanken 1 SMN (OSL: MING), while keeping the ratings on SpareBank 1 SR-Bank (OSL: ROGG).

SpareBanken Ost said on Wednesday that Moody's has lowered its long-term ratings from A1 to A3, with "negative" outlook. The short-term ratings were downgraded to Prime-2 from Prime-1.

Moody's has also lowered the long-term deposit and senior unsecured ratings on SpareBanken Vest to A2 from A1, with "negative" outlook. The bank financial strength rating (BFSR) was cut to C- from C, with "stable" outlook, while the subordinate ratings were downgraded to A3 from A2, with "negative" outlook. The preferred stock ratings were cut to Baa1 from A3, with "negative" outlook.

Moody's has confirmed that the changes do not concern the rating of covered bonds, SpareBanken Vest said in a statement today.

The rating agency has cut the BFSR on SpareBanken 1 SMN to C- from C, with "stable" outlook. The long-term A1-ratings and the short-term subordinate ratings of A2 were maintained, both with "negative" outlook.

The long-term deposit, senior unsecured and issuer ratings on SpareBank 1 SR-Bank were confirmed at A1 and the subordinate ratings at A2, both with "negative" outlook. The preferred stock ratings were confirmed at A3, with "negative" outlook. The C- BFSR and the Prime-1 short rating were unaffected.

Rating agency website: http://www.moodys.com

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Publication:Nordic Business Report
Date:Sep 9, 2009
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