Fitch Rates Banco ABC Brasil S.A.'S BRL Senior Unsecured Notes 'BBB-'

Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:58pm EDT

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency) NEW YORK, March 21 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Banco ABC Brasil S.A.'s (ABCBr) issuance of Brazilian Real (BRL) senior unsecured notes with a maturity of three years a rating of 'BBB-'. The amount of the notes and the interest rate will be set at the time of the issuance. Interest payments will be made semi-annually until maturity. The principal and interest amounts will be settled in U.S. dollars (USD). The notes are part of a USD3 billion global medium-term note. The net proceeds will be used by ABCBr for general corporate purposes. The rating assigned to ABCBr's issuance corresponds to the bank's Issuer Default Rating (IDR) ('BBB-'; Outlook Stable) and ranks equal to other senior unsecured debt. Earlier this month Fitch took the following rating actions on ABCBr: --Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) upgraded to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'; Outlook Stable; --Short-term foreign and local currency IDRs upgraded to 'F3' from 'B'; --Viability rating upgraded to 'bbb-' from 'bb+'; --Support rating affirmed at '3'; --Long-term national rating upgraded to 'AA(bra)' from 'AA-(bra)', Outlook Stable; --Short-term national rating affirmed at 'F1+(bra)'. KEY RATING DRIVERS The upgrade of ABCBr's foreign currency and local currency IDRs, viability rating and long-term national ratings were based on the bank's low risk profile, which is underpinned by its low funding cost, sound risk management and consistent profitability over the years even facing a fierce and volatile competitive environment. Over the last years, improvements included a further diversification of its funding profile leading to a stronger asset and liabilities management as it continues to expand its corporate and middle market operations. Its credit portfolios are conservatively matched and continue to show strong liquidity. Its continued high quality asset and liquidity combined with its satisfactory profitability and capital adequacy evidences the bank's overall solid financial strength. Established in 1989, ABCBr is a midsized wholesale bank, which focuses in the corporate (companies whose annual sales are above BRL 400 million) and middle market segments (companies with net sales between BRL30 and BRL400 million). Banco ABC Brasil S.A. is approximately 58% controlled by Arab Banking Corporation and approximately 34% free float. Contact: Primary Analyst Robert Stoll Director +1-212-908-9155 Fitch Ratings, Inc. One State Street Plaza New York, NY 10004 Secondary Analyst Eduardo Ribas Senior Analyst +55-11-4503-2213 Committee Chairperson Franklin Santarelli Managing Director +1 212 908-0739 Media Relations: Jaqueline Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Tel: +55 21 4503 2623, Email: jaqueline.carvalho@fitchratings.com; Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 908 0526, Email: elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com. 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); --'National Ratings Criteria' (Jan. 19, 2011); --'Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies' (Aug. 10, 2012). Applicable Criteria and Related Research Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria here National Ratings Criteria here Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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