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Outlook On Sony Bank Revised To Positive On Assessment As Highly Strategic; ‘A/A-1’ Ratings Affirmed

          TOKYO (S&P Global Ratings) July 20, 2018--S&P Global Ratings today said it has revised its outlook on the long-term rating on Sony Bank Inc. to positive from stable. At the same time, we affirmed our 'A' long-term and 'A-1' short-term issuer credit ratings on the bank. 
          The upward revision of the outlook reflects the upward revision of our assessment of the bank's status within the Sony Financial group to highly strategic, based on our view that the bank's strategic importance to the group is growing. We have revised the bank's status within the group because we consider the bank's business and role--including its settlement function--important to the group's medium- to long-term strategy of providing comprehensive financial services in the group's three major business areas: life insurance, nonlife insurance, and banking. The revision also reflects increased stability of the bank's business base and its performance in recent years. Given the group's business strategy, the bank's strategic importance to the group is unlikely to weaken materially in the next one to two years, in our opinion.
          The positive outlook reflects the outlook on the long-term rating on Sony Life Insurance Co. Ltd., which we regard as a core subsidiary of Sony Financial group. We may raise the rating on Sony Bank if we upgrade Sony Life Insurance. Conversely, we may consider revising the outlook on Sony Bank downward to stable if we revise the outlook on Sony Life Insurance to stable.