MILAN, Sept 20 Moody's has placed mid-sized
Italian lenders UBI Banca and Cariparma on
review for a ratings downgrade, citing weakening profitability
and deteriorating asset quality.
The ratings agency, which has a long-term rating of "Baa2"
for both, said an ongoing recession in Italy will keep the two
banks under pressure throughout 2013 and into 2014.
Moody's will assess UBI's strategy to strengthen
profitability and stabilise asset quality, as well as its plans
to repay 12 billion euros ($16 billion) due under ECB's
Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO), it said.
Moody's added it might confirm UBI's ratings if its problem
loan levels stabilise and its net income strengthens.
On Cariparma, which is controlled by French lender Credit
Agricole, the ratings agency said it would also
consider "parental and systemic support".
($1 = 0.7402 euros)
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by David Evans)