RPT-Fitch Rates Kasikornbank's Senior Notes Final 'BBB+'

Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:42am EDT

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April 23 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Fitch Ratings has assigned Kasikornbank Public Company Limited's (KBank; BBB+/Stable) USD350m senior unsecured notes due October 2019 a final rating of 'BBB+'. The notes are issued under KBank's USD2.5bn euro medium term note (EMTN) programme and are issued by the bank's Cayman Islands branch.

The rating action follows the completion of the bond issue, as well as the receipt of final documents conforming to information previously received. The final rating is the same as the expected rating assigned on 22 April 2014.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The senior notes are rated at the same level as KBank's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BBB+' as they represent unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the bank.

KBank's ratings are based on its solid domestic franchise, improved asset quality, steady funding and liquidity, sound capitalisation as well as strong profitability.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The rating of the senior unsecured notes would be directly impacted by any changes in KBank's Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR.

A higher sovereign rating, improvement in the operating environment and further strengthening of the bank's overall financial profile, may be positive for KBank's ratings. The prospects of an upgrade in the bank's IDRs and Viability Rating are currently low.

A downgrade may result from an increasing risk of significant deterioration in asset quality that leads to an erosion of profitability or capital. Examples include increasing risk appetite through rising loan concentration and/or excessive loan growth in the absence of further strengthening buffers through higher profitability and capital.

The other ratings of KBank are unaffected by this action, and are as follows:

Long-Term Foreign Currency IDR: 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable

Short-Term Foreign Currency IDR: 'F2'

Viability Rating: 'bbb+'

Support Rating: '2'

Support Rating Floor: 'BBB-'

National Long-Term Rating: 'AA(tha)'; Outlook Stable

National Short-Term Rating: 'F1+(tha)'

USD2.5bn EMTN programme: 'BBB+'

Long-term foreign currency senior unsecured debt: 'BBB+'

National short-term senior unsecured debt: 'F1+(tha)'

National long-term subordinated debt (legacy Basel II Tier 2 securities):

'AA-(tha)'

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