financial statements 2014

11. Ratings

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The main rating changes throughout 2014, on a chronological basis, have been the following:

  • On February 11, 2014, Moody’s upgraded its long-term rating outlook of BBVA from negative to stable. Shortly after, on March 4, it announced a rating upgrade of one notch for BBVA to Baa2, changing the outlook to positive, and upgraded the short-term rating from Prime -3 to Prime -2. This upgrade by Moody’s, the first in more than seven years, was a result of the strength of BBVA’s fundamentals, as well as an improvement in the Kingdom of Spain’s sovereign rating.
  • On April 2, 2014, Scope Ratings, whose rating decisions are based on the intrinsic value of the entities more than the potential sovereign basis, published for the first time BBVA rating, placing the Group in A with a stable outlook.
  • On May 29, 2014, Fitch announced the upgrading of BBVA’s rating by one notch to A-, maintaining a stable outlook. This decision was due to the upgrading of Spain’s rating on April 25 to BBB+ and to the Group’s geographical diversification, which places BBVA one notch above the sovereign rating.
  • On June 4, 2014, Standard & Poors (S&P) upgraded BBVA’s rating from BBB- to BBB, also maintaining a stable outlook, as a result of the upgrading of Spain’s rating on May 23 to BBB. It also upgraded the short-term rating from A-3 to A-2.

In short, in 2014, Moody’s, Fitch and S&P have upgraded BBVA’s rating for the first time since the start of the crisis. In addition, during this period, DBRS has confirmed BBVA’s rating at A with a negative outlook, while Scope Ratings (whose decisions are based on the intrinsic value of the institutions, rather than on the potential sovereign support) has published BBVA’s rating for the first time, at A with a stable outlook.

The major rating agencies have confirmed BBVA’s ratings following the announcement of the Group’s acquisition of Catalunya Banc as well as the announcement of the acquisition of an additional 14.89% of Garanti in November, 2014.

BBVA’ s long and short term ratings, as well as rating prospects measured by the 5 rating agencies are depicted below:

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Rating agencies Long-term Short-term Outlook
DBRS A R-1 (low) Negative
Fitch A- F-2 Stable
Moody's Baa2 P-2 Positive
Scope Ratings A S-1 Stable
Standard & Poor's BBB A-2 Stable