(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
HONG KONG, April 17 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Azure
International Finance Limited's (Azure Orbit II) USD1bn
Medium-Term Note (MTN)
programme a final Long-Term Rating of 'A'. At the same time,
Fitch has assigned
Azure Orbit II's USD500m note issue a Long-Term Rating of 'A'.
The notes are due
in April 2019.
KEY RATING DRIVERS - MTN Programme
Guaranteed notes issued under the MTN programme will represent
unconditional and unsecured obligations of Bank of
Communications Co., Ltd
(BOCOM; A/Stable) by virtue of the deed of guarantee given by
the bank's Macau
Branch in favour of Azure Orbit II's MTN programme. Such
obligations will rank
pari passu with all other present and future unsecured
obligations of the Macau
Branch. The programme's rating reflects the ratings expected to
be assigned to
senior notes issued under the programme, and is in line with
Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'A'. BOCOM's IDR is in turn based
on an extremely
high probability of support, if required, from the Chinese
Senior notes under the MTN programme will represent direct,
unsubordinated and unsecured obligations of the issuer, while
junior to senior
obligations under the MTN programme will be rated on a
case-by-case basis in
accordance with published criteria and after taking into
individual terms and conditions of those notes. However, Fitch
right not to rate certain instruments issued under the
programme, such as
The notes may be issued in any currency or of any tenor. The
proceeds will be
used for general corporate purposes by Bank of Communications
Co., Ltd (BOCOMM Leasing), a wholly owned subsidiary of BOCOM.
Azure Orbit II is an offshore special purpose vehicle managed by
BOCOMM Leasing is strongly integrated with BOCOM and is a key
providing financial leasing services for the bank's customers.
Fitch views the
Macau Branch as part of the same legal entity and plays an
important role in
developing the bank's overseas businesses.
KEY RATING DRIVERS - Senior Notes
The notes are issued under the bank's USD1bn medium-term note
The notes represent senior obligations of BOCOM, and are rated
in line with
BOCOM's Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'A'.
Furthermore, the notes
will be unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by the Macau
RATING SENSITIVITIES - MTN Programme, Senior Notes
Any changes to ratings on the programme and the notes issued
under the programme
will be directly correlated to changes in BOCOM's IDR, which in
reflect any shift in the perceived willingness or ability of
to support BOCOM in a full and timely manner. Should the deed of
by Macau Branch no longer be effective, then the rating on the
The other ratings of BOCOM are unaffected by this action, and
are as follows:
Long-Term IDR: 'A'; Outlook Stable
Short-Term IDR: 'F1'
Support Rating: '1'
Support Rating Floor: 'A'
Viability Rating: 'bb-'
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Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com
Applicable criteria, "Global Financial Institutions Rating
Criteria", dated 31
January 2014 are available at www.fitchratings.com.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria
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