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Rating Action:

MOODY'S ASSIGNS Baa2 / Prime-2 / C- RATINGS TO GARANTI BANK INTERNATIONAL N.V.; OUTLOOKS ARE STABLE

24 Oct 2005
MOODY'S ASSIGNS Baa2 / Prime-2 / C- RATINGS TO GARANTI BANK INTERNATIONAL N.V.; OUTLOOKS ARE STABLE

New Ratings

London, 24 October 2005 -- Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Baa2 rating for long term foreign currency bank deposits; P-2 for short term foreign currency bank deposits and a C- financial strength rating for Garanti Bank International N.V. [GBI], a Netherlands-based commercial bank specialising in commodity and structured trade finance lending and in private banking. The outlooks for all these ratings are stable.

According to Moody's, the Baa2/Prime-2/C- ratings for GBI reflects its role as a niche player in the competitive segment of international trade finance, its strong financial fundamentals and asset quality, historically low credit losses, a reliable funding profile and solid profitability, while also taking into consideration GBI's exposure to emerging markets, particularly the risk of the Turkish market.

Moody's said that GBI's ratings reflect a number of credit strengths- in particular: [1] an established franchise with a good competitive position; [2] consistent revenue generation and profitability, mainly built on know-how relating to emerging market risk-taking; [3] solid asset quality and capitalisation; [4] operational independence from ultimate shareholder.

At the same time, Moody's indicates that GBI's ratings are constrained by: [1] significant exposure to Turkey (42% of risk-weighted assets) and to other emerging markets, which could impact negatively upon financial performance; [2] a sizeable proportion of assets (22%) represented by the securities portfolio, which in turn predominantly (79%) consists of Turkish sovereign risk; [3] existence of some risk concentrations in terms of both sectors (commodities) and counterparties despite low risk costs and low impaired loan ratios.

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that GBI's business and operating model should continue to deliver reasonable pre-provision profitability, restrained risk costs and problem loans and thus an impressive degree of internal capital generation. This outlook also assumes that the current strategy will prevail -- this is one of continued growth through GBI's proven core strengths in trade finance and private banking, gradual establishment of physical presences in key countries and increasing diversification and reducing the proportion of exposure to Turkey.

Moody's indicated that developments which could move the rating up would include (i) a clear demonstration that the geographic expansion of trade finance activities would bring sufficient diversification to mitigate for generalised event risks affecting groups of emerging markets; (ii) a reduction of the exposure to Turkish bonds; and (iii) a reduction of sector risk concentrations. Conversely, developments which could move the rating down would include (i) an evident deterioration of credit underwriting conditions or standards in trade finance leading to an increased cost of credit risk; (ii) increased dependence on trading revenues and the resulting higher market risk appetite (iii) major changes in strategy or ownership.

Furthermore Moody's emphasised that the ratings of GBI cannot be entirely disassociated from the ratings of its 100% owner and parent company Türkiye Garanti Bankasi A.S., Turkey (Garanti), nor those of the Republic of Turkey. Negative rating actions on Garanti or Turkey might well trigger a review of GBI's ratings, with a view to a downgrade. Conversely positive actions on Garanti or Turkey might also lead to a review of GBI's ratings, with a view to positive action. However in neither case would action necessarily follow. Moody's noted that the Baa2/P-2 domestic currency ratings and D+ financial strength rating of Garanti have a stable outlook, while its B2/NP foreign currency rating has a positive outlook, in line with the country ceiling for Turkey.

GBI, headquartered in Amsterdam, had assets of EUR 2 billion and EUR 167 million of shareholders' funds as at 30 June 2005. Net profits for the first half year of 2005 amounted to EUR 13 million, while in the full year 2004 they had amounted to EUR 23 million. Of first half-year total income before operating expenses of EUR 32 million, 58% was achieved in the trade finance business unit, 30% in the bank's treasury activities, 8% from its private banking activities and 4% from business with other financial institutions. GBI has 224 employees, and additional branch operations in Düsseldorf (Germany), Bucharest (Romania) as well as representative offices in Istanbul and Geneva.

London
Adel Satel
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
James Hyde
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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