TEXT-S&P puts Netherlands KAS BANK 'A-' L-T rating on watch neg

Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:44am EST

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Nov 22 -

Overview

-- In our view, Dutch banks are exposed to the potential of a more protracted downturn in The Netherlands and the wider eurozone.

-- We have therefore revised our economic risk score for The Netherlands and our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment to '3' from '2'.

-- As a result, we are placing our 'A-' long-term rating on KAS BANK N.V. on CreditWatch negative, and affirming our short-term rating at 'A-2'.

-- We expect to resolve the CreditWatch in the coming weeks, once we have gathered additional information about the impact of increasing risk on the bank's business position, by lowering the rating by one notch or affirming it.

Rating Action

As previously announced on Nov. 16, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed its 'A-' long-term counterparty credit rating on Netherlands-based KAS BANK N.V. on CreditWatch with negative implications. At the same time, we affirmed our 'A-2' short-term rating.

Rationale

The CreditWatch placement follows our review of the Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) on The Netherlands. Against the backdrop of a potentially more protracted downturn in The Netherlands and wider eurozone (European Economic and Monetary Union), we have revised our economic risk score for The Netherlands and our BICRA assessment to '3' from '2'.

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