RPT-Fitch rates KEXIM's senior unsecured USD notes 'AA-(EXP)'

Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:46am EDT

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Sept 12 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Fitch Ratings has assigned the Export-Import Bank of Korea's (KEXIM) proposed long-term senior unsecured USD-denominated notes an expected rating of 'AA-(EXP)'. The size or tenor of the notes have yet to be determined.

The notes will be issued under the bank's existing USD5bn shelf programme, last updated on 11 July 2013 at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The proceeds from the new issue will be used for the bank's general purposes, including rolling over and/or repaying maturing foreign currency debt and other obligations. The final rating is contingent upon the receipt of final documents conforming to the information already received.

Key Rating Drivers

The notes are rated at the same level as KEXIM's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) as they will constitute direct, unconditional, unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the bank. The bank's IDR is equalised with South Korea's rating to reflect the de facto solvency guarantee. According to Article 37 of the Export-Import Bank of Korea Act, the government is responsible for any losses incurred by the bank but not covered by the bank's reserves. KEXIM is effectively 100%-owned by the state (68.0% directly, 16.1% through Bank of Korea, and 15.9% through Korea Finance Corporation (AA-/Stable)).

Rating Sensitivities

The ratings of KEXIM would be directly affected by changes to South Korea's ratings or to the solvency guarantee under the KEXIM Act. Fitch does not expect any significant change to either.

KEXIM is one of key policy banks in South Korea. The bank was established in 1976 under the Export-Import Bank of Korea Act to provide export, import and overseas investment credit.

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