-- The ratings on Citibank Uruguay incorporate the parent's full and
timely support, but are constrained by the sovereign rating on Uruguay.
-- We are affirming our 'BBB-/A-3' global scale ratings on the bank.
-- The stable outlook reflects the outlook on the sovereign credit
ratings on Uruguay.
-- We expect Citibank Uruguay to increase its credit portfolio,
benefiting from Uruguay's sound economic growth prospects, while maintaining
good credit fundamentals.
On Nov. 30, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'BBB-/A-3'
global scale counterparty credit ratings on Citibank N.A. (Uruguay Branch).
The outlook is stable.
The ratings on Citibank Uruguay reflect sovereign risk and the fact that the
bank is a branch of New York-based Citibank N.A. (A/Negative/A-1). Standard &
Poor's assumes that absent the sovereign's direct intervention, the parent
would ensure full and timely payment of the Uruguayan branch's financial
The sovereign credit ratings on Uruguay (Oriental Republic of)
(BBB-/Stable/A-3) constrain the ratings on Citibank Uruguay. The national
scale ratings on the bank exclude sovereign intervention risk and indicate its
position relative to other financial institutions.
As of Sept. 30, 2012, the bank's total assets were Uruguayan peso (UYP) 29.7
billion ($1.42 billion). Citibank Uruguay is the fifth-largest bank among the
11 private banks operating in Uruguay, with a market share of 8.4%. Compared
with Citibank's operations in other countries, its Uruguayan operation is
relatively small and focuses mainly on the wholesale business, especially on
large multinational corporations. Additionally, Citibank Uruguay works
actively with the country's public sector.
Citibank Uruguay follows the same policies and procedures as Citigroup
worldwide, focusing on risk management, credit, and treasury. As part of
Citigroup's world network, the bank benefits from high financial flexibility
and constant support in terms of business and product development.
Citibank Uruguay, in our opinion, has very good credit quality, as seen in its
very low nonperforming loans (NPLs). The bank enjoys a healthy asset quality
partly as a result of the good performance of the Uruguayan economy and its
relatively large corporate loan portfolio--the bank posted NPLs of only 0.26%
of total loans as of Sept. 30, 2012, which compares favorably with the banking
system. Also, its loan loss reserves were 8.8x of NPLs as of Sept. 30, 2012.
Given its historic low level of NPLs and as the bank increases its
intermediation level, we expect higher NPL ratios. However, we continue to
expect Citibank Uruguay to manage its loan portfolio growth through
conservative and prudent underwriting standards. We believe NPLs will remain
below 1% for the next 18 months.
We expect Citibank Uruguay's profitability to remain adequate. Results for the
nine months ended Sept. 30, 2012 showed a return on adjusted assets of 1.0%,
which compared favorably with 0.8% for the same period of 2011. A higher
financial margin and lower noninterest expenses helped the results. We believe
that the bank's profitability will continue to improve as interest rates
increase and credit activity continues to rise in Uruguay.
In our opinion, the bank's capitalization level is adequate, given its
condition as branch of Citibank New York. Citibank Uruguay has also an
adequate liquidity with cash, money-market instruments, and liquid market
securities representing about 31% of total assets and 70% of the deposits
maturing within a month as of Sept. 30, 2012. We expect the bank to maintain
liquidity at current levels.
The stable outlook reflects the outlook on the sovereign credit ratings on the
Oriental Republic of Uruguay.
Related Criteria And Research
-- S&PCorrect: BICRA On Uruguay Revised To Group '7' From '8', May 30,
-- Banks: Rating Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011
-- Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Methodology And Assumptions,
Nov. 9, 2011
-- Group Rating Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011
-- Banks: Bank Capital Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011
-- Bank Hybrid Capital Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 1, 2011
Citibank N.A. (Uruguay Branch)
Counterparty Credit Rating BBB-/Stable/A-3
Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on
the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. All ratings affected
by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at
www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left