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24 Apr 2007
Moody's announces bank rating actions for Bahrain Off-shore / Wholesale banks resulting from implementation of JDA and BFSR methodologies
New York, April 24, 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service today published the rating results for banks
in Bahrain as part of the application of its refined joint default analysis
(JDA) and updated bank financial strength rating (BFSR) methodologies.
BFSRs evaluate the stand-alone or intrinsic financial strength
of banks without reference to external support factors. BFSRs are
the starting point of Moody's bank credit analysis, and are
an important determinant of Moody's bank deposit and debt ratings.
Moody's then uses its JDA methodology to incorporate the potential
for external support into a bank's local currency deposit rating.
The potential for external support can reduce the riskiness of a bank's
deposit and debt obligations; however, such support is often
uncertain. Moody's uses conservative support assumptions
and a limited number of support levels to ensure that sufficient weight
is given to a bank's intrinsic financial strength in its bank deposit
and debt ratings.
Moody's uses deposit ratings to determine bank debt ratings based
on its notching guidelines for bank securities. Ratings for foreign
currency obligations are determined after considering Moody's country
ceilings for foreign currency ratings.
The methodologies are being implemented country by country, with
results being announced on a weekly basis. Results for those banks
with a parent bank located in another country where the methodologies
have not yet been implemented will be concluded at the same time as the
Moody's completed the review on the ratings of four Bahraini banks
with a 'Wholesale' banking license, previously referred
to as a 'Off-shore' or 'Investment' banking
license. The review resulted in the upgrade of some of the BFSR
and deposit ratings by one or two notches.
This press release lists the names of issuers in Bahrain whose ratings
have been changed, affirmed, or put on review. To view
all ratings changes and other documents explaining Moody's bank
rating methodologies, please go to www.moodys.com/JDABanks.
The specific ratings changes are as follows:
Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C. -- The BFSR
is changed to C- from D+. The Deposit Ratings are changed
to A3/Prime-2 from Baa2/Prime-2. The outlook on all
the bank's ratings is Stable.
Gulf International Bank B.S.C. -- The BFSR is
unchanged at C -. The Deposit Ratings are changed to A2/Prime-1
from A3/Prime-2. The rating on the bank's Subordinated
Step-Up Floating Rate Notes is changed to A3 from Baa1.
The outlook on all the bank's ratings is Stable.
Investcorp Bank B.S.C. -- The BFSR is unchanged
at C-. The Deposit Ratings are unchanged at Baa2/Prime-2.
The rating on the bank's Perpetual Non-Cumulative Preference
Shares is unchanged at Ba1. The outlook on all the bank's
ratings is Stable.
United Gulf Bank B.S.C. -- The BFSR is changed
to D+ from D. The Deposit Ratings are unchanged at Baa3/Prime-3.
The rating on the bank's Subordinated Debt is unchanged at Ba1.
The outlook on all the bank's ratings is Stable.
ABOUT MOODY'S BANK RATINGS
Bank Financial Strength Rating
Moody's Bank Financial Strength Ratings (BFSRs) represent Moody's opinion
of a bank's intrinsic safety and soundness and, as such, exclude
certain external credit risks and credit support elements that are addressed
by Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings. Bank Financial Strength Ratings
do not take into account the probability that the bank will receive such
external support, nor do they address risks arising from sovereign
actions that may interfere with a bank's ability to honor its domestic
or foreign currency obligations. Factors considered in the assignment
of Bank Financial Strength Ratings include bank-specific elements
such as financial fundamentals, franchise value, and business
and asset diversification. Although Bank Financial Strength Ratings
exclude the external factors specified above, they do take into
account other risk factors in the bank's operating environment,
including the strength and prospective performance of the economy,
as well as the structure and relative fragility of the financial system,
and the quality of banking regulation and supervision.
Global Local Currency Deposit Rating
A deposit rating, as an opinion of relative credit risk, incorporates
the Bank Financial Strength Rating as well as Moody's opinion of any external
support. Specifically, Moody's Bank Deposit Ratings are opinions
of a bank's ability to repay punctually its deposit obligations.
As such, Moody's Global Local Currency Bank Deposit Ratings are
intended to incorporate those aspects of credit risk relevant to the prospective
payment performance of rated banks with respect to local currency deposit
obligations, and includes: intrinsic financial strength and
both implicit and explicit external support elements. Moody's Bank
Deposit Ratings do not take into account the benefit of deposit insurance
schemes which make payments to depositors, but they do recognize
the potential support from schemes that may provide assistance to banks
Foreign Currency Deposit Rating
Moody's ratings on foreign currency bank obligations derive from the bank's
local currency rating for the same class of obligation. The implementation
of JDA for banks can lead to a high local currency ratings for certain
banks, which could also produce high foreign currency ratings.
Nevertheless, it should be reminded that foreign currency deposit
ratings are in all cases constrained by the country ceiling for foreign
currency bank deposits. This may result in the assignment of a
different, and typically lower, rating for the foreign currency
deposits relative to the bank's rating for local currency obligations.
Foreign Currency Debt Rating
Foreign currency debt ratings are derived from the bank's local currency
debt rating for the same class of obligation. In a similar way
to foreign currency deposit ratings, foreign currency debt obligations
may also be constrained by the country ceiling for foreign currency bonds
and notes, however, in some cases the ratings on foreign currency
debt obligations may be allowed to pierce the foreign currency ceiling.
A particular mix of rating factors are taken into consideration in order
to assess whether a foreign currency bond rating pierces the country ceiling.
They include the issuer's global local currency rating, the foreign
currency government bond rating, the country ceiling for bonds and
the debt's eligibility to pierce that ceiling.
National Scale Rating
National scale ratings are intended primarily for use by domestic investors
and are not comparable to Moody's globally applicable ratings; rather
they address relative credit risk within a given country. An Aaa
rating on Moody's National Scale indicates an issuer or issue with the
strongest creditworthiness and the lowest likelihood of credit loss relative
to other domestic issuers. National Scale Ratings, therefore,
rank domestic issuers relative to each other and not relative to absolute
default risks. National ratings isolate systemic risks; they
do not address loss expectation associated with systemic events that could
affect all issuers, even those that receive the highest ratings
on the National Scale.
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Limited
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
No Related Data.
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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com
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Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.
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