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Feb 13 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has assigned Indonesia-based PT Bank ICBC Indonesia (ICBCI) a National Long-Term Rating of ‘AAA(idn)’ and a National Short-Term Rating of ‘F1+(idn)'. The Outlook is Stable.
‘AAA’ National Ratings denote expectations of the lowest default risk relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country. This rating is assigned to issuers or obligations with the lowest expectation of default risk relative to all other issuers or obligations in the same country.
‘F1’ National Ratings indicate the strongest capacity for timely payment of financial commitments relative to other issuers or obligations in the same country. On Fitch’s National Rating scale, this rating is assigned to the lowest default risk relative to others in the same country. Where the liquidity profile is particularly strong, a “+” is added to the assigned rating.
ICBCI’s rating reflects an expectation of high propensity of support from its parent bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC; A/Stable), which is majority owned by the Chinese government. Fitch views ICBCI as being of strategic importance to ICBC, rather than a core subsidiary based on its criteria “Rating FI Subsidiaries and Holding Companies”, considering potential regulatory barriers arising from the former operating in a different legal jurisdiction from its parent, and ICBCI’s relatively independent business model. The agency believes that Indonesia remains an important market for ICBC’s business growth in Southeast Asia. The expectation of support is underpinned by the parent’s 97.5% ownership in ICBCI, a shared name and the appointment of ICBC personnel to be ICBCI’s president director and president commissioner.
Any perceived weakening of support from or significant dilution in ownership by ICBC would put pressure on ICBCI’s National Ratings. There is no upside potential for the National Ratings, which are already at the top end of the scales.