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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms three Hong Kong banks' ratings; outlook revised to stable from negative

29 Jul 2021

Hong Kong, July 29, 2021 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today affirmed the deposit ratings and baseline credit assessments (BCA) of the following three banks in Hong Kong SAR, China (Aa3 stable) and changed their deposit rating outlooks to stable from negative:

- The A2 long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings and a3 BCA of Dah Sing Bank, Limited

- The Baa1 long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings and baa1 BCA of Chiyu Banking Corporation, Ltd.

- The A3 long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings and baa1 BCA of Public Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

A full list of affected ratings and rating assessments can be found at the bottom of this press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The change of the three banks' outlooks to stable from negative reflects Moody's expectation that downside risks to their credit profiles are limited over the next 12-18 months given expected steady economic recovery in Hong Kong and the banks' resilient financial fundamentals despite the adverse impact from the pandemic.

The affirmation of the banks' ratings and assessments reflect their maintenance of strong credit profiles including their solid capitalization, good funding and liquidity, and relatively good asset quality compared to global peers. Although the three banks' profitability has weakened due to the decline in market interest rates in Hong Kong, their internal capital generation remain sufficient to fund their asset growth.

Moody's expects Hong Kong's economy will continue to rebound due to effective measures to control the coronavirus pandemic. Strong external demand, improving labor market conditions and rising consumption will also underpin economic resilience, creating a favorable backdrop for these three banks.

Rating rationale for individual banks

Dah Sing Bank

Dah Sing Bank's A2 long-term deposit ratings incorporate the bank's a3 BCA and Adjusted BCA, and one notch of uplift from our Advanced Loss Given Failure (LGF) analysis. Moody's does not incorporate Hong Kong government support uplift in the bank's deposit ratings, given the bank's relatively small deposit market share.

Dah Sing Bank's a3 BCA takes into consideration the bank's sound capitalization and liquidity as loan growth moderated amid the pandemic. Low market interest rate and higher provisions weighed on the bank's profitability in 2020. The bank has sizable small and medium-sized enterprise lending and unsecured consumer loans in Hong Kong, which are more sensitive to economic cycles than lending to large corporates and residential mortgages. Given the expected economic recovery, Moody's does not expect Dah Sing's asset quality to materially deteriorate from current levels.

Chiyu Banking Corporation

Chiyu Banking Corporation's Baa1 deposit ratings are at the same level as its BCA and Adjusted BCA, and do not factor in uplifts from Advanced LGF analysis or government support.

Chiyu Banking Corporation's baa1 BCA takes into consideration the bank's strong capitalization, as well as its sound liquidity with low reliance on confidence-sensitive wholesale funding. The bank's BCA also takes into account its maintenance of good asset quality, although strong loan growth in recent years could lead to higher problem loan ratio as the loans season. Meanwhile, the bank's profitability has weakened due to margin pressure amid a low interest rate environment.

Public Bank (Hong Kong)

Public Bank (Hong Kong)'s A3 deposit ratings incorporate its baa1 BCA and a one-notch uplift for very high level of affiliate support from its parent, Public Bank Berhad. Moody's does not incorporate uplifts from Advanced LGF analysis nor government support in its A3 deposit ratings.

The bank's baa1 BCA takes into consideration its strong capitalization with modest balance-sheet growth, good profitability and sound liquidity, with limited reliance on confidence-sensitive wholesale funding despite its small deposit market share. The bank maintained stable asset quality and credit costs in 2020 despite its focus on risky unsecured consumer lending.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

Dah Sing Bank

Dah Sing Bank's rating is high relative to its small size and modest franchise. Therefore, there is a limited likelihood of an upgrade of its BCA.

The bank's deposit and senior unsecured ratings could be upgraded if the subordination of junior liabilities leads to a lower loss given failure.

Dah Sing Bank's ratings and assessments could be downgraded if operating conditions deteriorate significantly; asset quality and profitability weaken significantly, with problem loan rising above 2% of gross loans; capitalization weakens, with tangible common equity/risk weighted assets ratio falling below 14%; or subordinated or senior instruments relative to tangible banking assets decline, leading to higher severity of loss for deposits and senior unsecured debt.

Chiyu Banking Corporation

There is a limited likelihood of an upgrade of Chiyu Bank's BCA given its small size and limited franchise.

Chiyu Banking Corporation's BCA could be upgraded if the bank's franchise becomes much stronger, while maintaining moderate balance sheet growth, improving its capitalization significantly and maintaining sound asset quality.

The bank's deposit ratings could be upgraded if the subordination of junior liabilities leads to a lower severity of loss for the bank's unprotected depositors.

Moody's could downgrade the bank's BCA if operating conditions deteriorate significantly; the bank resumes strong loan and asset growth, exceeding significantly the industry average; its asset quality weaken materially, with problem loans rising above 2.5% of loans; capitalization weakens materially, with tangible common equity/risk-weighted assets ratio falling below 13%; or subordinated or senior instruments decline compared with its tangible banking assets, leading to higher severity of loss for deposit and senior unsecured debt ratings.

Public Bank (Hong Kong)

Public Bank (Hong Kong)'s BCA could be upgraded if the bank reduces its exposures to riskier businesses while maintaining its strong capitalization.

The bank's deposit ratings, CR Assessment and CRRs incorporate a very high level of affiliate support from its parent, Public Bank Berhad. Therefore, Moody's could upgrade the bank's Adjusted BCA and deposit ratings if the parent bank's BCA is upgraded. Public Bank (HK)'s ratings could also be upgraded if the volume of deposits or senior unsecured debt or subordinated instruments increases, resulting in a change in its liability structure and lower loss given failure.

Moody's could downgrade Public Bank (Hong Kong)'s BCA if the bank's asset quality and credit costs deteriorate materially, with problem loans rising above 2.5% of gross loans, or if the bank's capitalization weakens materially, with tangible common equity/risk weighted assets ratio falling below 14%. The bank's Adjusted BCA and deposit ratings could also be downgraded if Public Bank Berhad's BCA is downgraded or the parent's willingness to support the bank diminishes.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks Methodology published in July 2021 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1269625. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Dah Sing Bank, Limited, headquartered in Hong Kong, reported total assets of HKD248 billion as of the end of 2020.

Chiyu Banking Corporation, Ltd., headquartered in Hong Kong, reported total assets of HKD164 billion as of the end of 2020.

Public Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, headquartered in Hong Kong, reported total assets of HKD42 billion as of the end of 2020.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS AND ASSESSMENTS

..Issuer: Dah Sing Bank, Limited

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed Aa3(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

.... Long-term Foreign and Local Currency Counterparty Risk Ratings, Affirmed Aa3

.... Short-term Foreign and Local Currency Counterparty Risk Ratings, Affirmed P-1

.... Long-term Foreign Currency Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)A2

.... Long-term Foreign Currency Subordinate Medium-Term Note Program, Affirmed (P)Baa1

.... Long-term Foreign Currency Subordinate Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Baa1 (hyb)

.... Short-term Foreign and Local Currency Deposit Ratings, Affirmed P-1

.... Long-term Foreign and Local Currency Deposit Ratings, Affirmed A2, Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

.... Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

..Issuer: Chiyu Banking Corporation, Ltd.

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed A1(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

.... Long-term Foreign and Local Currency Counterparty Risk Ratings, Affirmed A2

.... Short-term Foreign and Local Currency Counterparty Risk Ratings, Affirmed P-1

.... Short-term Foreign and Local Currency Deposit Ratings, Affirmed P-2

.... Long-term Foreign and Local Currency Deposit Ratings, Affirmed Baa1, Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

.... Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

..Issuer: Public Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed a3

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed baa1

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed A1(cr)

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

.... Long-term Foreign and Local Currency Counterparty Risk Ratings, Affirmed A2

.... Short-term Foreign and Local Currency Counterparty Risk Ratings, Affirmed P-1

.... Short-term Foreign and Local Currency Deposit Ratings, Affirmed P-2

.... Long-term Foreign and Local Currency Deposit Ratings, Affirmed A3, Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

.... Outlook changed to Stable from Negative

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security 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.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

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 entities are participating and the rated entities or their agent(s) generally provide 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.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at http://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1288435.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the UK and is endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FA under the law applicable to credit rating agencies in the UK. Further information on the UK endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

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.

Sonny Hsu, CFA
VP - Senior Credit Officer
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

Sophia Lee, CFA
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.
© 2021 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS AFFILIATES ARE THEIR CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S (COLLECTIVELY, “PUBLICATIONS”) MAY INCLUDE SUCH CURRENT OPINIONS. MOODY’S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE APPLICABLE MOODY’S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS, NON-CREDIT ASSESSMENTS (“ASSESSMENTS”), AND OTHER OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S ANALYTICS, INC. AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES. MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY’S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLISHES ITS PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

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