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April 18 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has assigned Rusfinance Bank’s (RFB) RUB4bn BO-07 senior unsecured bonds with a final maturity in 2018 an expected Long-term local currency rating of ‘BBB+(EXP)'.
RFB has Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of ‘BBB+’ with a Stable Outlook, a National Long-term Rating of ‘AAA(rus)’ with a Stable Outlook, a Short-term foreign currency IDR of ‘F2’, a Viability Rating of ‘bb’, and a Support Rating of ‘2’.
The issue’s rating correspond to RFB’s Long-term local currency IDR (‘BBB+'/Stable), which is driven by potential support from France-based Societe Generale (SG, ‘A+'/Negative), which owns 82.4% in Rosbank (‘BBB+'/Stable), a 100% parent of RFB. Fitch views SG’s propensity to support as high, due to the strategic importance of the Russian market for SG, the recent consolidation of SG’s Russian banking assets under RB, their limited size relative to the parent, and significant contagion risk for the rest of SG’s Central and Eastern European business in case of a default of any of its Russian banking assets.
Any changes to RFB’s Long-term local currency IDR would impact the issue’s rating. RFB’s IDRs are constrained by Russian country risks, and could be upgraded/downgraded if these risks increase/fall. A multi-notch downgrade of SG or a marked reduction in the strategic importance of the Russian market for SG, neither of which is currently anticipated, could also result in a downgrade of RFB’s Long-term local currency IDR and, accordingly, the issue’s rating.