TEXT-Fitch expects to rate BBVA Banco Continental notes 'BBB+'

Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:36am EST

Jan 22 - Fitch Ratings expects to assign a 'BBB+' rating to BBVA Banco
Continental's (Continental) upcoming up to four-year U.S. dollar senior
unsecured, unsubordinated notes. A list of Continental's current ratings follows
the end of this press release.

The notes - for an amount to be determined but not to exceed USD300m - will
mature in up to four years. The notes will carry a fixed interest rate to be set
at the time of issuance; interest payments will be made semi-annually until
maturity.

The notes will be BBVA Banco Continental's direct senior unsecured obligations
and rank pari-passu with the bank's existing and future senior obligations. The
notes will rank senior to BBVA Banco Continental's existing and future
subordinated and junior subordinated debt. In addition, the notes will be
structurally subordinated to the existing and future obligations of BBVA Banco
Continental's subsidiaries - including trade payables - and to labor, tax and
other obligations that are privileged by law.

BBVA Banco Continental has long-term local and foreign currency Issuer Default
Ratings (IDR) of 'BBB+' both with a Negative Outlook. The bank's IDRs are driven
by BBVA Banco Continental's Viability Rating (VR, 'bbb+'), which in turn
reflects its solid franchise, sound balance sheet, solid performance and robust
asset quality. The Negative Outlook is in line with that of BBVA Banco
Continental's parent (BBVA, rated 'BBB+') and acknowledges the potential
contagion risk from the ongoing crisis that BBVA faces in Spain. The notes will
be rated 'BBB+', at the same level as the bank's IDRs.

BBVA Banco Continental will use the proceeds from the planned issue for general
corporate purposes. The bank's leverage will slightly increase in the short run
but Fitch expects that gradual debt replacement, continued growth and positive
returns, will allow the bank to sustain adequate Fitch core capital levels.

Fitch rates BBVA Banco Continental as follows:

--Long-term foreign currency IDR 'BBB+', Negative Outlook;
--Short-term foreign currency IDR 'F2';
--Long-term local currency IDR 'BBB+', Negative Outlook;
--Short-term local currency IDR 'F2';
--Viability rating 'bbb+';
--Support Rating '2';
--Support floor 'BBB-';
--Senior unsecured debt 'BBB+'.

In addition, the following entities issued securities whose underlying credit
risk is that of BBVA Banco Continental; Fitch's ratings of those securities are
listed below:

--Continental Trustees (Cayman) Ltd 'BB+';
--Continental Senior Trustees (Cayman) Ltd 'BBB+';
--Continental Senior Trustees (Cayman) II Ltd 'BBB+'.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria' (Aug. 15, 2012).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria
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