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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms Standard Chartered Bank Korea's A2 ratings; outlook stable

 The document has been translated in other languages

28 Feb 2019

Hong Kong, February 28, 2019 -- Moody's Investors Service has today affirmed Standard Chartered Bank Korea Limited's long-term deposit ratings of A2. At the same time, Moody's has affirmed all other ratings and assessments.

The rating actions follow the announcement by Standard Chartered PLC (Senior Unsecured A2) on 26 February 2019 of a group restructuring.

The ratings outlook is stable.

A full list of the affected ratings and assessments is provided at the end of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

On 26 February 2019, Standard Chartered PLC announced a plan to change the legal structure of how the group is organized. Under the announced plan, the group's operating subsidiaries in Korea, mainland China and Taiwan will be restructured under Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (Deposits A1).

Following the announcement, on 27 February 2019, Moody's affirmed all ratings of Standard Chartered PLC, Standard Chartered Bank (Deposits A1), and affirmed the long-term deposit and issuer ratings of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong).

The affirmation of Standard Chartered Bank Korea's Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of baa2 reflects the bank's strong capitalization which ranks above the industry average even after the sizeable KRW500 billion dividend payout announced on 16 January, the bank's relatively liquid balance sheet and low reliance on wholesale funding. Standard Chartered Bank Korea's BCA is also supported by its improving asset quality. Its problem loans to gross loans ratio improved to 0.56% as of the end of September 2018 from 1.49% in 2015, driven by the bank's restructuring efforts to de-risk its balance sheet.

Standard Chartered Bank Korea's Adjusted BCA of baa1 reflects the very high level of support from its support provider, which results a one-notch uplift from its BCA. Moody's has changed the assumption of supporting affiliate to Standard Chartered PLC from Standard Chartered Bank following the announced changes to the group structure. The assumption underpins Moody's expectation that affiliate support will be provided at the group level, based on the group's single point of entry resolution plan.

Standard Chartered Bank Korea's foreign currency and domestic currency deposit ratings of A2 reflect: (1) the bank's Adjusted BCA of baa1; (2) Moody's Basic Loss Given Default (LGF) analysis, which positions the Preliminary Rating Assessment for its deposits at the same level as the bank's Adjusted BCA; and (3) Moody's assumption of a high likelihood that the bank would receive support from the Korean government (Aa2 stable) in times of need, resulting in a two-notch uplift to its deposit ratings.

Moody's applies its Basic LGF approach in rating the securities of Korean banks. In Moody's opinion, Korea does not have an operational resolution regime.

Moody's assessment of a high level of government support from Korea reflects on the bank's 2.6% asset market share as of the end of September 2018. The assessment also takes into account Korea's strong capacity to provide support and its track record of bailing out distressed banks.

The stable outlook on Standard Chartered Bank Korea reflects the bank's (1) sustained strong capitalization despite its consistently high dividend payouts when compared with peers; and (2) stable asset quality, supported by its efforts to de-risk its loan book.

Standard Chartered Bank Korea's long-term CR Assessment of A1(cr) and long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (CRR) of A1 take into consideration: (1) the baa1 Adjusted BCA; (2) Moody's Basic LGF analysis, which positions the Preliminary Rating Assessment of the CR Assessment and CRRs one notch above the bank's Adjusted BCA, prior to the incorporation of government support; and (3) Moody's assumption of a high level of government support, resulting in a two-notch uplift.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP

Standard Chartered Bank Korea's ratings are unlikely to be upgraded further in the near term absent an improvement in the its affiliate to provide support, represented by an upgrade of Standard Chartered PLC's BCA.

Standard Chartered Bank Korea's BCA may be upgraded as a result of (1) an improvement in the bank's operating environment, as indicated by an improvement in Korea's Macro Profile; (2) a significant and sustainable improvement in its profitability; or (3) a significant improvement in its asset quality, with problem loans/gross loans declining below 0.5% on a sustained basis.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS DOWN

The bank's long-term deposit or debt rating could be downgraded if the likelihood of parental or government support falls significantly.

Parental support could become less likely if the bank's strategic importance to the group diminishes, either because of a deterioration in Standard Chartered Bank Korea's long-term prospects or a change in the group's global strategy. Standard Chartered PLC's capacity to support Standard Chartered Bank Korea may also decrease if Standard Chartered PLC's standalone credit strength, as represented by its BCA, deteriorates. The likelihood of government support could decline if Moody's assesses that the Korean government's ability or likelihood to support the bank has weakened.

Downward pressure on Standard Chartered Bank Korea's BCA could develop if (1) the bank's operating environment deteriorates, resulting in a downgrade in Korea's Macro Profile; (2) its capitalization weakens substantially, with tangible common equity/risk-weighted assets falling below 12.0%; (3) its asset quality deteriorates, with problem loans/gross loans rising above 2.5%; or (4) its balance-sheet liquidity deteriorates significantly.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

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.

Standard Chartered Bank Korea Limited, headquartered in Seoul, held assets of KRW69 trillion (USD62 billion) at the end of September 2018.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

- Long-term local and foreign currency deposits ratings of A2 affirmed; outlook maintained at stable

- Short-term local and foreign currency deposits ratings of P-1 affirmed

- Local and foreign currency long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings of A1 affirmed

- Local and foreign currency short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings of P-1 affirmed

- Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment of A1(cr) affirmed

- Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment of P-1(cr) affirmed

- Foreign currency commercial paper rating of P-1 affirmed

- Baseline credit assessment of baa2 affirmed

- Adjusted baseline credit assessment of baa1 affirmed

- Outlook is maintained at stable

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.

Moody's considers a rated entity or its agent(s) to be participating when it maintains an overall relationship with Moody's. Unless noted in the Regulatory Disclosures as a Non-Participating Entity, the rated entity is participating and the rated entity or its agent(s) generally provides Moody's with information for the purposes of its ratings process. Please refer to www.moodys.com for the Regulatory Disclosures for each credit rating action under the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page and for details of Moody's Policy for Designating Non-Participating Rated Entities.

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.

The first name below is the lead rating analyst for this Credit Rating and the last name below is the person primarily responsible for approving this Credit Rating.

Tae Jong Ok
Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
24/F One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Minyan Liu
Associate Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Hong Kong Ltd.
24/F One Pacific Place
88 Queensway
Hong Kong
China (Hong Kong S.A.R.)
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
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