(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
LONDON/ISTANBUL, March 21 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has placed
(ABank) Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs), Long-term National Rating
Rating on Rating Watch Positive (RWP). ABank's Viability Rating
(VR) of 'bb' is
unaffected. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this
The rating action follows the announcement by Commercial Bank of
Qatar (CBQ) on
18 March 2013 of its agreement to purchase a 70.84% stake in
transaction is subject to obtaining necessary regulatory
approvals in Turkey.
ABank's existing majority shareholders, the Anadolu Group, will
retain a 25%
stake in the bank. An offer will be made to minority
objective is to consolidate a controlling 75% stake in ABank.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
The RWP reflects Fitch's belief that once the acquisition is
will benefit from support from CBQ, should this be required.
CBQ's Long-term IDR
of 'A'/Stable reflects Fitch's opinion that there is an
probability that the Qatari authorities would support the bank
if needed. CBQ is
16.7% owned by Qatar Holding LLC, the Qatar government's
investment arm; other
government-related entities control a further 12.5% stake. In
addition, CBQ is
an important player in the domestic banking system.
ABank's IDRs and National Rating are currently driven by its VR.
acquisition by CBQ be concluded, the bank's IDRs would be driven
support from CBQ. In Fitch's view, ABank represents a strategic
CBQ. It already controls minority stakes in banks in Oman and
UAE and is keen to
diversify geographically into markets which offer considerable
such as Turkey.
The RWP will be resolved once regulatory approval for the
received and ownership changes. Should CBQ acquire the 75% stake
in ABank as
planned, Fitch's base case expectation is that ABank's foreign
Long-term IDR would be upgraded to 'BBB' and its Long-term
National Rating would
be upgraded to 'AAA(tur)', based on support from CBQ. However,
resolving the RWP, Fitch will seek clarification about the Qatar
position regarding its willingness to allow state support to
flow through to
banking subsidiaries of Qatari banks located outside the GCC.
The bank's Support Rating will likely be revised to '2' from '5'
resolution of the Watch. However, ABank's Support Rating Floor
(SRF) of 'NF'
will probably be withdrawn, as SRFs are only assigned to banks
source of external support is considered to be the sovereign.
Should the CBQ
acquisition be completed, this will not be the case for ABank as
it would look
to its majority shareholder for support.
Fitch expects CBQ's ratings will be unaffected by the
acquisition of 70.84% of
ABank and does not anticipate that the acquisition will have a
on CBQ's intrinsic creditworthiness. Fitch will continue to
acquisition as it progresses.
The rating actions are as follows:
Long-term foreign and local currency IDRs of 'BB' placed on RWP
Short-term foreign and local currency IDRs of 'B' placed on RWP
National Long-term Rating of 'AA(tur)' placed on RWP
Support Rating of '5' placed on RWP
Support Rating Floor of 'NF' unaffected
Viability Rating of 'bb' unaffected
Long-term IDR of 'A' unaffected
Short-term IDR of 'F1' unaffected
Support Rating of '1' unaffected
Support Rating Floor of 'A' unaffected
Viability Rating of 'bbb' unaffected
+44 203 530 1464
Fitch Ratings Limited
30 North Colonnade
London E14 5GN
+90 212 284 7819
+7 495 956 6657
Media Relations: Hannah Huntly, London, Tel: +44 20 3530 1153,
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com. The
were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore,
Fitch has been
compensated for the provision of the ratings.
Applicable criteria, 'Global Financial Institutions Rating
August 2012, 'Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies'
dated August 2012
and 'National Ratings Criteria' dated January 2011 are available
Applicable Criteria and Related Research
Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria
Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies
National Ratings Criteria
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