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May 30 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has assigned Veneto Banca's EUR300m senior unsecured state-guaranteed notes (IT0004807167) a 'BBB+' Long-term rating. The fixed-rate (5%) note was issued in March 2012, with an original maturity of five years.
The notes' Long-term rating is based on the Republic of Italy's (BBB+/Stable) direct, unconditional and irrevocable guarantee for the issue, which covers payments of both principal and interests. Italy's guarantee was issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance under Law Decree 6 December 2011, n.201, subsequently converted into Law 22 December 2011, n. 214.
The rating reflects Fitch's expectation that Italy will honour the guarantee provided to the noteholders in a full and timely manner. The state guarantee ranks pari passu with Italy's other unsecured and unguaranteed senior obligations. As a result, the notes' Long-term rating is in line with Italy's 'BBB+' Long-term Issuer Default Rating.
The notes' Long-term rating is sensitive to changes in Italy's Long-term IDR. Any downgrade or upgrade of Italy's Long-term IDR would be reflected on the notes' Long-term rating.