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Rating Action:

MOODY'S LOWERS RATINGS OF KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK (SENIOR TO Ba2) AND 18 OTHER KOREAN BANKS

10 May 1998
MOODY'S LOWERS RATINGS OF KOREA DEVELOPMENT BANK (SENIOR TO Ba2) AND 18 OTHER KOREAN BANKS New York, 05-10-98 -- Moody's Investors Service lowered the long-term debt ratings of Korea Development Bank (from Ba1 to Ba2), Industrial Bank of Korea, and Export-Import Bank of Korea. Moody's said that its action reflected the continuing deterioration in the financial condition of the Korean government's main policy banks, and the ambiguities in the support for their obligations from the government implied by the terms of their constituting statutes. The Ba1 senior debt ratings of KDB and IBK had remained under review for possible downgrade following Moody's lowering of its country ceiling for Korea from Baa2 to Ba1 on December 21, 1997.
The rating agency noted that the three banks act as instruments of national economic policy, and have in the past enjoyed various forms of direct financial support from the government. However, growing problems in Korea's industrial base have for some time undermined their intrinsic financial strength: they have also been used by the government during this critical period to support many ailing industrial and financial companies. Under the charters by which these three banks were constituted, the Korean government must support the solvency of these banks – each act stipulates that the government will make whole any losses incurred by the bank beyond its general reserves. However, although the government has indicated its intention to make funds available to the banks in order for them to meet their repayment obligations, Moody's notes that this commitment, and the responsibilities of the Korean government under the charters, do not constitute a direct and unconditional guarantee of repayment of the banks' liabilities on the part of the government.
Moody's also lowered the senior and/or subordinated debt ratings and bank financial strength ratings of sixteen other Korean banks. The Ba1 senior debt ratings were placed under review for possible downgrade on January 9, 1998. The rating agency noted that the financial crisis continues to put the Korean commercial banks under increasing stress. Significant doubts remain over the feasibility of restructuring the banking system without extensive government intervention, and the ultimate treatment of individual institutions, and their respective creditors, is uncertain.
Moody's continues to expect, however, that the Korean government intends to ultimately provide support to the larger banks in the system to enable them to service their obligations in a timely manner.
The outlook for the ratings of the Korean banks remains negative.
The following ratings were lowered:
Korea Development Bank – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to Ba2; the bank financial strength rating of E was confirmed.
Industrial Bank of Korea – the long-term debt ratings from Ba1 to Ba3 (senior) and B2 (subordinated), and the bank financial strength rating from E+ to E.
Export-Import Bank of Korea – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to Ba2.
Korea Exchange Bank – the long-term subordinated debt rating from B2 to B3; the long-term senior debt rating of B1, and the bank financial strength rating of E, were confirmed.
Kookmin Bank – the long-term subordinated debt rating from Ba1 to Ba3, and the bank financial strength rating from D+ to D; the long-term senior debt rating of Ba1 was confirmed.
Cho Hung Bank – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to B1, and the bank financial strength rating from E+ to E.
Hanil Bank – the long-term debt ratings from Ba1 to B1 (senior) and B3 (subordinated), and the bank financial strength rating from E+ to E.
Korea First Bank – the long-term subordinated debt ratings from B2 to B3; the long-term senior debt rating of B1, and the bank financial strength rating of E, were confirmed.
Commercial Bank of Korea – the long-term subordinated debt rating from B2 to B3; the long-term senior debt rating of B1, and the bank financial strength rating of E, were confirmed.
Shinhan Bank – the long-term subordinated debt rating from Ba1 to Ba3, and the bank financial strength rating from D+ to D; the long-term senior debt rating of Ba1 was confirmed.
SeoulBank – the long-term subordinated debt rating from B2 to B3; the long-term senior debt rating of B1, and the bank financial strength rating of E, were confirmed.
Housing & Commercial Bank of Korea – the long-term subordinated debt rating from Ba1 to Ba3, and the bank financial strength rating from D+ to D; the long-term senior debt rating of Ba1 was confirmed.
Korea Long Term Credit Bank – the long-term debt ratings from Ba1 to Ba2 (senior) and B1 (subordinated); the bank financial strength rating of D was confirmed.
Pusan Bank – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to Ba3; the bank financial strength rating of E+ was confirmed.
Daegu Bank – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to Ba3; the bank financial strength rating of D was confirmed.
Boram Bank – the long-term debt ratings from Ba1 to Ba3 (senior) and B2 (subordinated); the bank financial strength rating of D was confirmed.
Hana Bank – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to Ba2; the bank financial strength rating of D was confirmed.
KorAm Bank – the long-term subordinated debt rating from Ba1 to B2; the bank financial strength rating of D was confirmed.
Kyungki Bank – the long-term senior debt rating from Ba1 to B1, and the bank financial strength rating from E+ to E.
The following ratings were also confirmed:
Donghwa Bank – the long-term senior debt rating of B1, and the bank financial strength rating of E.
All Korean banks – the ratings of the banks for their deposits of Caa1 (long-term) and Not Prime (short-term), and their short-term debt ratings of Not Prime.

No Related Data.
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