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Moodys changes long-term rating outlook for Quebecs CUs
MONTREAL (3/5/09)--Moody's Investors Service said it has changed the long-term rating outlook for Desjardins, the Quebec-based network of caisses populaires or credit unions. The debt-rating service said the rating outlook moved to negative from stable, but it left intact the "Aa1" credit rating for the credit union network (The Canadian Press March 3). Monday Desjardins Group had announced a $476 million loss during fourth quarter 2008, compared with a surplus of $273 million in fourth quarter 2007. Moody's report acknowledged Desjardins' "sound asset statement, its excellent capitalization with capital ratios above regulatory targets and among Canada's best in the financial sector, the quality of its loan portfolio and its dominant market share in Quebec." The rating change stemmed from losses associated with asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) and their impact on the Desjardins Group's financials for 2008. ABCPs are short-term investments that were affected by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.


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