Ratings roundup: Santander, HSBC, Standard Bank units

- Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ratings roundup: Santander, HSBC, Standard Bank units

Fitch has affirmed its national scale ratings on Argentine bank Santander Río's long and short-term debt at AA+ and A1, respectively, as well as the lender's stable outlook.

The ratings reflect Santander Río's significant banking franchise, good profitability and asset quality, and support provided by its parent company, Spain's Santander (NYSE: STD), the agency said in a report.

Santander Río is Argentina's largest private bank in terms of loans and deposits. It operates through 290 branches and 937 ATMs countrywide.

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To read the full report, in Spanish, go to this link

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Fitch also affirmed HSBC Bank Argentina's national scale, long and short-term debt at AAA and A1+, respectively, as well as its AAA ratings on the bank's series 1 and 2 debt programs. The outlook is stable, the agency said in a report.

The ratings are based on the bank's good profitability and asset quality, adequate liquidity and capitalization, as well as the improved operating environment and support from its parent company, the UK's HSBC (NYSE: HBC).

HSBC Bank Argentina was the country's fifth largest private lender in terms of assets and deposits as of end-January.

To read the full report, in Spanish, go to this link

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Lastly, the agency maintained Standard Bank Argentina's long and short-term debt ratings at AA+ with a stable outlook and A1+, respectively.

The ratings are based on support provided by its parent company, South Africa's Standard Bank; the bank's position in the Argentine banking system; and its adequate liquidity.

Standard Bank is Argentina's eighth and ninth largest private bank in terms of deposits and assets, respectively. In 2006, it closed the purchase of a substantial portion of the assets and liabilities of Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC) local BankBoston unit.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) recently outbid competitors to acquire an 80% stake in Standard Bank Argentina, BNamericas previously reported.

To read the full report, in Spanish, go to this link