Roundup: HSBC units, Grupo Supervielle's local currency debt

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fitch has hiked HSBC El Salvador's rating outlook to stable from negative following the recent revision of the country's sovereign rating, and affirmed the lender's long and short-term issuer default ratings (IDR) at BBB- and F2, respectively.

The bank's viability rating of bb reflects its relatively strong local franchise, reasonable loss absorption capacity, well-balanced business mix, high delinquency and historically modest profitability, the ratings agency said in a report.

The bank, the local unit of HSBC (NYSE: HBC), is El Salvador's third largest bank in terms of assets with a 15.3% market share as of March 2011. It has strong a positioning in corporate and commercial lending. The bank was acquired by HSBC in 2006.

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The agency also affirmed HSBC Bank Chile's foreign and local currency long-term IDRs at A+ and F1, respectively, as well as its national scale long and short-term ratings at AAA and N1+, reflecting potential support from its parent company.

In 2008, HSBC Bank Chile launched a strategic plan aimed at growing with a focus on high net worth individuals and large and midsize companies. This plan has been delayed by a drive to cut non-interest expenses, and the bank's future is also under review following HSBC's recent announcement that it would analyze its strategy in several countries where its activities were not of significant size.

HSBC Chile is very small bank with a marginal loan market share. Its main businesses are with large corporates, with the main focus on foreign trade operations, treasury and securities intermediation.

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Moody's has assigned a Aa3 national scale local currency debt rating to Argentine holding Grupo Supervielle's expected issuances of the third and fourth tranches of senior notes worth up to 105mn pesos each (US$25.3mn).

The notes will be issued under the 200mn-peso global medium-term note program of the group's main asset, local bank Banco Supervielle.

Moody's also assigned a B1 global local currency senior debt rating to the two tranches. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

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