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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms EXIM Thailand's ratings with a stable outlook

08 Oct 2018

Singapore, October 08, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Export-Import Bank of Thailand's (EXIM Thailand) long-term issuer rating of Baa1, as well as the (P)Baa1 rating on the bank's $1.5 billion senior unsecured Medium Term Note program.

At the same time, Moody's has affirmed the bank's ba2 baseline credit assessment (BCA) and assigned an adjusted BCA of ba2. Moody's has also affirmed EXIMT's counterparty risk assessment of Baa1(cr)/P-2(cr) and its local and foreign currency counterparty risk rating of Baa1/P-2.

The outlook on EXIM Thailand is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

ASSIGNMENT OF ADJUSTED BCA

EXIMT's adjusted BCA of ba2 is at the same level as its BCA because the bank does not benefit from support from any affiliated entities.

AFFIRMATION OF ISSUER RATING

The affirmation of EXIM Thailand's Baa1 issuer rating takes into account the bank's adjusted BCA of ba2 and four notches of support from the Government of Thailand (Baa1 stable) owing to the government's full ownership of the bank, given its important policy role in providing financial services to Thai exporters and Thailand's track record of supporting financial institutions.

The bank is supervised by Bank of Thailand and is also protected against high-risk financial transactions under the Export-Import Bank of Thailand Act, 2003 (B.E. 2536). That is, should there be any losses incurred from business transactions implemented in conformity with the government's directive or the cabinet's resolution, the Ministry of Finance is required to allocate funds from the government's annual budget to compensate for such losses.

Because of these features, Moody's support assumption for Exim Thailand's issuer rating is government-backed. This results in a four-notch uplift from its adjusted BCA of ba2.

AFFIRMATION OF BCA

The affirmation of EXIM Thailand's BCA reflects Moody's expectation of stable credit metrics, including the bank's asset quality and profitability. Furthermore, the BCA also considers the bank's strong capitalization and loan-loss reserves. Nevertheless, these strengths are counterbalanced by the bank's high single borrower concentration, dependence on wholesale funding and a modest liquidity profile.

The affirmation of the bank's BCA also takes into account the improved Macro Profile for Thailand of "Moderate +" from "Moderate", with an improvement to "Strong-" from "Moderate+" in the country's banking country risk score. This reflects the cyclical recovery in the Thai economy, driven by increasing exports, tourism and consumer demand. Nevertheless, the high levels of leverage present in the corporate and household sectors will continue to pose risks to the banking sector's asset quality.

EXIM Thailand's capitalization -- as measured by Moody's -- remains strong and provides it with ample loss absorption capacity. Its reported Tier 1 ratio (under Basel II standards) was 17.2% at the end of March 2018. However, the bank's concentration risk, measured by its top 20 exposures as a percentage of its Tier 1 capital, is high compared with that of its peers in Southeast Asia.

Nevertheless, Moody's considers the maintenance of a sizeable loss-absorbing buffer as an important credit factor, given EXIM Thailand's exposures to companies involved in trade and overseas investments, some of which are in emerging economies that are riskier than Thailand. Specifically, the bank's loan loss reserves -- at 249% its non-performing loans as of March 2018, a level which is particularly strong when compared to other similarly rated peers in the region -- provide cushion against these risks.

Although EXIM Thailand's funding is predominantly from wholesale sources, the associated risks are somewhat mitigated because the maturity of its assets and liabilities is fairly matched. The currency profile of the bank's assets and liabilities is also fairly matched, reducing any exchange rate risk. Nevertheless, the bank's buffers against funding risks are limited due to its modest liquidity, with liquid banking assets equal to less than 7% of total tangible banking assets.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP

EXIM Thailand's issuer rating is aligned with Thailand's sovereign rating owing to the bank's important policy role. Therefore, its ratings will likely move in line with Thailand's sovereign rating.

Furthermore, the bank's BCA and adjusted BCA may be upgraded if the bank's standalone creditworthiness improves as demonstrated by (1) a consistent improvement in its asset-quality metrics, and (2) an improvement in its core profitability, supported by (3) a stable capitalization position

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING DOWN

EXIM Thailand's rating could be downgraded if the sovereign's creditworthiness deteriorates or if the bank's operating environment deteriorates materially, resulting in a weakening of the bank's standalone creditworthiness.

Specific downgrade triggers are (1) diminishing strategic importance owing to changes in the bank's policy role or a weakening in the bank's relationship with the government, such that strong government support is no longer assured; (2) a material deterioration in the credit risk position of export-oriented borrowers or other categories of borrowers in which the bank has concentrated risks; and (3) a material rise in the bank's nonperforming assets without a commensurate increase in loan-loss reserves or capital, such that its nonperforming assets (as a percentage of shareholders equity and loan-loss reserves) rise significantly.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in August 2018. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Export-Import Bank of Thailand, headquartered in Bangkok, reported total assets of THB89.7 billion ($2.9 billion) at 31 March 2018.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Alka Anbarasu
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Graeme Knowd
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
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