May 27, 2014 / 8:31 PM / in 4 years

Fitch Upgrades Banco Internacional del Peru S.A.A. to 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) NEW YORK, May 27 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has upgraded Banco Internacional del Peru S.A.A.'s (Interbank) viability (VR) and Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'bbb+' and 'BBB+', respectively. A full list of rating actions follows at the end of this press release. KEY RATING DRIVERS VR, IDRs AND SENIOR DEBT Interbank's VR and IDR were upgraded considering that the bank has maintained its strong performance; sound underwriting policies and risk management tools; and consistent, good asset quality. Interbank also continues to grow its franchise in a healthy, balanced manner. Interbank's VR and IDR ratings are driven by its consistent, strong performance; robust credit process; good asset quality; sound franchise; adequate capital; positive economic and regulatory environment; and improving funding base. The ratings also consider the fierce competition the bank faces and its business model that leads to more concentration in the retail segment. Interbank has developed information-intensive credit scoring models and modern monitoring tools. Credit origination policies are conservative and collection efforts effective. A sound risk management team helps maintain very good asset quality. Past-due loans (15- or 30-day PDLs for most products) stood at 1.75% at YE13 while 90-day PDLs did not exceed 2% of gross loans for the past five years. Interbank's performance has been consistently strong driven by loan growth, high margins, adequate expense control and moderate credit costs. This bolstered operating ROAA above 3% for more than five years. The bank has built an efficient retail franchise and positioned itself as a top contender in most retail products. Moreover, the bank has not neglected its corporate business, which appears well-focused and competitive, bringing balance and diversification to Interbank's balance sheet and revenue stream. Besides consistently retaining 55% of its net income, the bank maintains ample reserve coverage thus creating a strong capital/ reserves cushion against unexpected losses. Along with its strong profitability, this allows Interbank to confidently face an eventual downturn. Peru's economy shows strong growth momentum based on sound macro fundamentals. In addition, a proactive regulator has created a strong regulatory environment that fosters cautious credit policies. Competition and government's efforts to tame growth and curb inflation keep margins below pre-crisis levels. Interbank seeks to underpin its margins and bottom line by cross-selling its existing customers and seeking operating efficiency. Interbank does not have as diversified a deposit base as its larger competitors but has made significant efforts to widen its deposits base and change its structure. Funding costs have declined as demand deposits increased; in addition, the bank has reversed the growing trend in its institutional funding while remaining an active issuer in capital markets. Larger financial institutions and smaller, specialized and quite aggressive banks and consumer finance companies have somewhat curbed margin growth. Competition in this high growth market has heightened, and Interbank competes without compromising its credit criteria. Growth potential remains sound due to Peru's still low banking penetration. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's belief that the bank's strong performance and margins are resilient to eventual downturns and even though some credit metrics may see a slight deterioration, they are likely to remain compatible with its current rating. SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR Interbank has an 11.5% market share in deposits and a sizable presence in all business segments. Support from the government should be forthcoming in case of need. Peru's ability to provide such support is reflected in its Sovereign Rating ('BBB+/A-') and underpins Interbank's Support and Support Rating Floor ratings; the latter was upgraded to reflect Peru's last sovereign upgrade during 4Q13. SUBORDINATED DEBT AND OTHER HYBRID SECURITIES Interbank's subordinated bonds are plain vanilla and lack the features that would earn them equity credit following Fitch's criteria. In Fitch's opinion, their probability of non-performance is equivalent to that of Interbank's senior bonds but, they would entail a higher loss in case of default due to their subordinated nature. Hence, they are rated only one notch below the bank's VR. Interbank's junior subordinated bonds, rated four notches below the bank's VR, have strong equity-like features including the non-cumulative deferral of the coupons and a deeper subordination. This notching reflects the incremental non-performance risk relative to that captured by the VR and the loss severity (two notches) given its deeper subordination. RATING SENSITIVITIES VR, IDRs AND SENIOR DEBT Given its current rating, there is little upside potential for Interbank's VR and IDRs. Interbank's ratings could be downgraded if a severe decline in asset quality (PDLs above 4%) or weak profitability erode its capital (FCC below 9%) and reserve cushion. SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR Interbank's SR and SRF could be affected if Fitch changes its view of Peru's ability or willingness to support the bank. SUBORDINATED DEBT AND OTHER HYBRID SECURITIES The Subordinated and Junior Subordinated debt ratings would move in line with Interbank's VR. Fitch has taken the following rating actions on Interbank: --Long-term foreign currency IDR upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB', Stable Outlook; --Short-term foreign currency IDR affirmed at 'F2' ; --Long-term local currency IDR upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB', Stable Outlook; --Short-term local currency IDR affirmed at 'F2'; --Viability rating upgraded to 'bbb+' from 'bbb'; --Support rating upgraded to '2' from '3'; --Support floor revised to 'BBB' from 'BB+'; --Senior unsecured debt upgraded to 'BBB+' from 'BBB'; --Subordinated debt upgraded to 'BBB' from 'BBB-'; --Junior subordinated debt at upgraded to 'BB' from 'BB-'. Contact: Primary Analyst Diego Alcazar Director +1-212-908-0396 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 33 Whitehall St. New York, NY 10004 Secondary Analyst Veronica Chau Director ++52 81-8399-9100 Committee Chairperson Alejandro Garcia Senior Director +52-81-8399-9146 Media Relations: Elizabeth Fogerty, New York, Tel: +1 (212) 908 0526, Email: Additional information is available at ''. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria' (Jan. 31, 2014); --'Assessing and Rating Bank Subordinated and Hybrid Securities' (Jan. 31, 2014). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria here Assessing and Rating Bank Subordinated and Hybrid Securities Criteria here Additional Disclosure Solicitation Status here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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