RPT-Fitch revises Mercedes-Benz South Africa's ZAR18bn DMTN programme to 'AAA(zaf)'

Fri May 31, 2013 9:20am EDT

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May 31 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Fitch Ratings has revised Mercedes Benz South Africa (Pty) Ltd's (MBSA) ZAR18bn domestic medium-term note (DMTN) programme to National Long-term 'AAA(zaf)'from 'AA+(zaf)', in line with the mapping between the South African National Rating Scale and Local Currency Rating Scale.

AAA(zaf)' maps to a 'A-' Local Currency Rating on the South National Rating Mappings (refer to www.fitchratings.com for the South African National Rating Mappings). 'A-' is the Long-term Issuer Default Rating of Daimler AG, the guarantor for MBSA's DMTN programme.

Fitch has also affirmed the National Short-Term Rating at 'F1+(zaf)'.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

Guaranteed by Daimler AG: MBSA's programme ratings continue to reflect the irrevocable and unconditional guarantees provided by its German parent, Daimler AG (Daimler, rated 'A-'/Stable Outlook by Fitch), which owns 100% of MBSA. Large and Diversified Group: MBSA's parent, Daimler AG has wide geographical and business diversification. It has leading positions in the premium passenger-car segment with its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands (MBC division). Daimler Trucks (DT) is the world's largest heavy-truck manufacturer in unit sales. It is the largest in Europe and North America and the second or third largest in several other countries/regions, including Brazil and Japan. The group also holds leading positions in the global van and bus markets.

RATING SENSITIVITY GUIDANCE

Positive: Future developments that could lead to positive rating actions include:

As MBSA's issue ratings are based entirely on the irrevocable and unconditional guarantee provided by German parent Daimler AG, positive rating action is linked to any positive rating action on Daimler AG.

Negative: Future developments that could lead to negative rating action include: As MBSA's issue ratings are based entirely on the irrevocable and unconditional guarantee provided by German parent Daimler AG, negative rating action is linked to any negative rating action on Daimler AG.

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