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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Interbank's D+ financial strength, Baa3 deposits and debt; raises junior sub to Ba3 (hyb); Intercorp Peru senior debt to Ba2

 The document has been translated in other languages

06 Mar 2014

New York, March 06, 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed Banco Internacional del Peru S.A.A.'s (Interbank) D+ standalone bank financial strength rating with a stable outlook, and raised the standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA) to baa3 from ba1. Moody's also affirmed the bank's long term local and foreign currency deposit and foreign currency senior debt ratings at Baa3, with stable outlook.

Moody's upgraded the foreign currency subordinated debt rating for Interbank's $200 million of non-cumulative junior subordinated notes due 2070 to Ba3(hyb), from B1 (hyb), with a stable outlook, maintaining the three notch differential with the BCA, in line with Moody's methodology for rating junior obligations and based on the instrument's loss absorption characteristics.

At the same time, Moody's upgraded the senior debt rating on Intercorp Peru Ltd's $250 million of senior unsecured notes due 2019 to Ba2, from Ba3, with a stable outlook, also in line with the rise in the bank's BCA.

The affirmed ratings of Banco Internacional del Peru (Interbank):

Bank financial strength rating of D+, stable outlook

Long term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Baa3, stable outlook

Short term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Prime-3

The affirmed rating of Banco Internacional del Peru (Interbank) (Panama branch):

Foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating of Baa3, stable outlook

The upgraded rating of Banco Internacional del Peru (Interbank):

Foreign currency junior subordinated rating to Ba3 (hyb), from B1 (hyb), stable outlook

The upgraded rating of Intercorp Peru Ltd:

Foreign currency senior unsecured debt rating to Ba2, from Ba3, stable outlook

RATINGS RATIONAL

Moody's said that the affirmation of the D+ BFSR and lifting of the BCA to baa3 from ba1 reflects the bank's franchise expansion and diversification, including both loans and core deposits, as well as its increased earnings capacity, supported by Peru's dynamic economy and improving country risk profile. Interbank is the fourth largest bank in Peru, and its diversified earnings from a mix of both commercial and consumer credit business point to the bank's continued high earnings potential and a balance of credit risks. Improving risk management tools and proactive reserving policies provide for continued strong asset quality in the future. Interbank is also improving its funding structure, by enhancing its core deposit capture and diversifying its longer term funding sources, while maintaining a stable and well capitalized balance sheet.

Interbank has grown its market shares in Peru's increasingly competitive market to become a leader in retail banking, given its strategy to serve the growing middle-income Peruvian consumer and business enterprise. It has the second largest market share in consumer credit cards and consumer loans overall. The bank displays a track record of strong profitability metrics relative to its peers, including an ample net interest margin and high operating efficiency, despite maintaining the second largest distribution network in Peru. Interbank's profit metrics, asset quality, and capitalization also compare favorably with those of baa3-rated regional peers.

Interbank continues to increase its core deposits to fund loan growth, complementing it with long term bond issuances to support its longer term mortgage portfolios. The bank also cut its reliance on short term bank lines significantly during 2013, replacing it in part with a $200 MM medium term syndicated bank facility, which curbs the bank's external refinancing risk. Deposits from retail and corporate customers contribute a high 75% of total deposits, and the bank is seeking to improve its capture of low cost demand deposit accounts by offering cash management services to corporations. The bank's high quality capitalization and risk-based capital ratios position the bank well to absorb potentially higher losses under adverse stress scenarios.

Moody's said that Peru's improving credit outlook (Baa2, positive) and forward-looking bank regulatory regime also provide a supportive backdrop for credit and deposit growth. Peru continues to be a strong growth story due to significant investment flows and improving export prospects, coupled with strong domestic demand. Although GDP growth declined to around 5% in 2013 from 6.3% in 2012, it is expected to rise to 5.5% in 2014, and inflation and interest rates remain under control. Banking regulations are highly focused on curbing excessive risk-taking, particularly with respect to foreign currency mismatches, and contain step-up as well as countercyclical capital requirements in line with Basel III that support bank solvency.

A key risk to Interbank's performance is the bank's high loan growth orientation, growing faster than both the system and its peers and in the higher risk retail and consumer segments, a trend that may lead to rapid asset quality deterioration should economic growth slow dramatically. Interbank has however managed its growth well, demonstrating good asset quality metrics supported by a stated strategy of balancing the risks of its higher than average exposure to consumer loans and credit cards, by increasing its share of higher quality commercial and residential mortgage lending and limiting its activities in SME and microfinance lending.

Interbank's margins have come under some pressure as they have for all Peruvian banks because of competition and regulatory pressure to cap fees on consumer banking products. The lower interest rate environment and the bank's shift in asset mix towards higher quality and therefore lower margined product segments such as residential mortgages and commercial lending have also influenced the level of the bank's margins. The bank is addressing this profit pressure through a gradual adjustment of spreads on the affected loans and by increasing its low cost deposit capture, said Moody's.

Dollarization-related risks remain a concern, given the higher credit risk related to foreign currency made to non-foreign currency borrowers, though these exposures have been diminishing gradually. This risk is well managed by Interbank, owing to its disciplined currency gap and credit risk management. Its higher than average emphasis on retail and hence local currency lending together with tougher capital allocation rules regarding foreign currency loans also serve to limit the bank's exposure to such risks. The bank has managed its group-related risks prudently by limiting related party lending. The balance sheet is also shielded from excessive up streaming of dividends to the holding company by a stable dividend policy and by increasingly stringent capital requirements.

Upgrade of Junior Subordinated Rating

As Interbank's Tier 1-eligible foreign currency junior subordinated rating is anchored to the bank's standalone BFSR and BCA, this rating was upgraded to Ba3(hyb), from B1 (hyb), with a stable outlook, maintaining the three-notch differential with the BCA. The rating differential reflects the instrument's subordination and loss absorption characteristics including both optional and mandatory non-cumulative deferral features.

Affirmation of Interbank's Deposit and Senior Debt Ratings

Moody's said that the affirmation of Interbank's deposit and senior debt ratings at Baa3 incorporates an assessment of the probability of systemic support for Interbank's obligations due to its important deposit and loan market shares. However, this assessment does not result in further uplift given Interbank's current BFSR and BCA.

Upgrade of Intercorp Peru Ltd.'s Senior Debt Rating

The upgrade of the bank's holding company Intercorp Peru Ltd's senior debt rating by one notch to Ba2 from Ba3 is also based on the rise in the bank's BCA, as the holding's rating is anchored to the BCA of the bank, which is the holding's main source of earnings and cash flow.

Moody's said that the two notch differential with the bank's BCA reflects Intercorp Peru's nature as a shell holding company with no operations of its own, as well as the legal and structural subordination of senior holdco bondholders to all operating company creditors. The rating also takes into account the lack of explicit upstream guarantees from the operating subsidiaries and the lack of restrictions on holding company dividends. Moody's said that this risk is not significantly mitigated by the transaction's modest financial covenants or by restrictions on additional debt and new ventures.

In that regard, Moody's expects Intercorp Peru to hold at least 12 months of annual debt service costs in cash or highly liquid securities at all times at the holding company level, in addition to the pre-funding of interest through the Payment Account as provided for in the bond documentation, in order to maintain adequate internal liquidity. Moody's noted that the Ba2 rating could experience downward pressure if Intercorp Peru's stand alone liquidity weakens, either because of weak performance at the subsidiary level or because of higher than anticipated interest costs, such that interest coverage—as measured by net dividends received relative to financial expenses—falls below 3.0 times.

The last rating action on Interbank was on 26 February 2013, when Moody's downgraded the foreign currency junior subordinated debt rating to B1 (hyb) from Ba3 (hyb), removing systemic support in line with actions taken in other markets. The last rating action on Intercorp Peru Ltd. (formerly IFH Peru Ltd.) was on 29 November 2010, when Moody's rated the second series of senior notes issued by the holding at Ba3, with a stable outlook.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Global Banks published in May 2013. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Based in Lima, Interbank is Peru's fourth largest bank, with PEN 29.9 billion (US$ 10.7 billion) in assets, PEN 2.7 billion in equity, and annual net income of PEN 647 million as of December 31, 2013. Interbank is a direct subsidiary of Intercorp Financial Services Inc. (IFS, formerly Intergroup Financial Services Corp.) (99.3%), an intermediate holding incorporated in Panama that holds the shares of the bank and an insurance company, Interseguro. IFS is a direct subsidiary of Intercorp Peru Ltd.

Incorporated in the Bahamas in 1997, Intercorp Peru Ltd. is a multi-company financial, retail, and industrial holding group comprising several financial and non-financial companies operating in Peru, Panama, and the Bahamas. The group is represented in numerous areas of financial services as well as supermarkets, entertainment, and real estate.

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 rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular 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 rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this 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.

Jeanne Del Casino
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Maria Celina Vansetti-Hutchins
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's affirms Interbank's D+ financial strength, Baa3 deposits and debt; raises junior sub to Ba3 (hyb); Intercorp Peru senior debt to Ba2
No Related Data.
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