TEXT-Fitch affirms Banco Supervielle's subordinated debt at 'B-'
Sept 21 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed Banco Supervielle's (BS) USD50 million subordinated bonds at 'B-' and national long-term rating at 'A+(arg)', and assigned 'A1(arg)' ratings to its national short-term notes of up to ARS100 millions. BS's ratings reflect its good performance, adequate asset quality and liquidity ratios, sound management approach and effective risk management. The ratings also factor in the bank's relatively tight capitalization. In Fitch's view, BS's capitalization is its main weakness. It currently shows a slight improvement trend, but is still below Argentinian Financial System's average solvency ratios. The bank's profitability at the end of the first half of 2012 is good and its revenues are adequately differentiated. Its net interest income grew strongly over that of the previous year, boosted by a marked increase of its average interest rates and expansion of loan portfolio. The bank's management expects to maintain a return on equity (ROE) of around 20% over the next few years, a target that Fitch deems achievable. Liquidity is comfortable and Fitch expects it to remain that way, as the bank's policy is prudent. Currently, its asset quality ratios are healthy, with a non-performing-to-total-loans ratio of 2.78% at June 30, 2012, considered adequate to its loan book mix. Loan loss reserve coverage achieves 87.4%, resulting in an impaired loans less reserves for imp loans/equity ratio of 2.8%. Management expects to maintain asset quality at good levels, with coverage of near 100% throughout the rest of the year. BS is a domestic bank which resulted from the merger between Banco Banex S.A. and Banco Supervielle S.A. The main shareholder is Grupo Supervielle. BS is Argentina's 16th-largest bank by total assets and is ranked 15th by deposits. It also has significant factoring and leasing activities, with about 9% market share. In August 2011, the bank acquired operations of GE Money Argentina, now denominated Cordial Compania Financiera S.A., to capture profits derived from retail loans expansion. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria' (Aug. 15, 2012); --'Rating Bank Regulatory Capital and Similar Securities' (Dec. 15, 2011). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria Rating Bank Regulatory Capital and Similar Securities