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Jan 14 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has assigned Bank of China Limited (BOC) Hong Kong Branch’s US dollar senior notes issue a final Long-Term Rating of ‘A’.
The notes were issued in two tranches - USD750m carrying a fixed rate of 2.125% with three-year maturity and USD500m carrying a fixed rate of 3.125% with five-year maturity - under BOC’s MTN programme, which was rated by Fitch on 9 December 2013. The notes represent direct, unconditional, unsecured, and unsubordinated obligations of the bank. The proceeds from the notes will be used for the Hong Kong Branch’s general corporate purposes.
The notes represent senior obligations of BOC, and are rated in line with BOC’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘A’. The bank’s IDRs are in turn based on an extremely high probability of support, if required, from the Chinese government.
Any changes to ratings of the notes will be directly correlated to changes in the IDRs of the bank, which in turn will reflect any shift in the perceived willingness or ability of China’s government to support BOC in a full and timely manner.