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Rating Action:

MOODY'S REVISES OUTLOOK OF HSBC HOLDINGS, HSBC BANK PLC AND SELECTED SUBSIDIARIES' DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS FROM STABLE TO POSITIVE

20 Dec 2005
MOODY'S REVISES OUTLOOK OF HSBC HOLDINGS, HSBC BANK PLC AND SELECTED SUBSIDIARIES' DEBT AND DEPOSIT RATINGS FROM STABLE TO POSITIVE

London, 20 December 2005 -- Moody's Investor Service revised the outlook on the debt and deposit ratings of HSBC Holdings Plc, HSBC Bank Plc, HSBC Bank USA NA, HSBC France (CCF), HSBC Middle East Ltd, HSBC USA Inc, HCBC Private Bank (Suisse), and HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) from stable to positive.. The stable outlook on the BFSR of the banks was affirmed, as was the positive outlook on the BFSR of HSBC Bank USA NA. Moody's noted that the ratings of HSBC Finance Corporation are currently on review for possible upgrade. The ratings of rated subsidiaries in countries constrained by sovereign ceilings were affirmed (see full list below). Moody's said that a separate press release for Hong Kong Bank, Hang Seng Bank, and HSBC Australia would follow.

Commenting on the rating action, Moody's said that the revision of the outlook on the debt and deposit ratings was driven by the HSBC group's increasingly well balanced geographic mix of revenues, its improving risk profile as risk exposure shifts to consumer lending, and its heightened focus on managing product along global lines. Moody's added that the HSBC's geographic mix of business is increasingly well diversified with HK currently accounting for less than 25% of pre-tax profits (22.7% for 1H05) compared to 38% in 1999. The rating agency noted that personal financial services businesses account for a growing proportion of pre-tax profits (approximately 51.4 % in 1H05) with the prospects for the proportion of revenues to increase over the next 5 years. In addition, HSBC's material franchise in the USA, which is increasingly integrated within the country under a common holding company, HSBC North America Holdings, and across product lines within the HSBC Group globally are likely to improve HSBC's quality of earnings along several metrics including reduced volatility as well as in absolute amounts.

The rating agency commented further that as the credit cycle softens in the UK, US, and potentially other markets, the group will be facing the challenge of managing weakening asset quality in certain unsecured consumer portfolios as well as in its SME lending portfolios. This comes as the group has increased its presence in consumer lending following the 2003 acquisition of HSBC Finance Corporation (formerly known as Household International). Moody's said that it would be monitoring the success of the HSBC Group in managing the more difficult credit environment, in particular in its consumer lending portfolio in the UK and the US.

Moody's said that HSBC's ratings are supported by its strong financial fundamentals namely conservative capital structure, strong liquidity and profitability, and an increasingly integrated business and product strategy. While the group will be getting a new CEO, Stephen Green on 26 May 2006 when Sir John Bond retires, the rating agency does not expect the strategy of the group to change.

The rating outlook on the debt and deposit ratings was revised to positive from stable for the following issuers:

HSBC Holdings Plc

HSBC Bank Plc

HSBC Bank USA NA

HSBC France/CCF

HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd

HSBC USA Inc

HSBC Private Bank (Suisse)

HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse)

HSBC Bank Plc Sydney Branch

HSBC Bank Capital Funding (Sterling 1) L.P.

HSBC Bank Capital Funding (Sterling 2) L.P.

HSBC Capital Funding (Dollar 1) L.P.

HSBC Capital Funding (Dollar 2) L.P.

HSBC Capital Funding (Euro 1) L.P.

HSBC Capital Funding (Euro 3) L.P.

HSBC Republic Holdings (Luxembourg) S.A.

HSBC Finance Capital Trust IX

HSBC Americas Capital Trust I

HSBC USA Capital Trust V

HSBC USA Capital Trust VI

Republic National Bank of New York

Republic New York Capital I

Republic New York Capital II

Republic New York Corporation

The ratings for the following issuers which are constrained by sovereign ceilings were affirmed:

HSBC Middle East Ltd (UAE Branch)

HSBC Bank Middle East Limited

HSBC Mexico SA- Cayman Islands

HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad

HSBC Mexico

HSBC Bank Brasil SA

HSBC Bank A.S. Turkey

Saudi British Bank

Based in London, United Kingdom, HSBC Holdings reported total assets of US$ 1,467 billion) as of 30 June 2005.

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

London
Lynn Exton
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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