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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns first time issuer rating of A1 to IBK Securities

 The document has been translated in other languages

16 Mar 2017

Hong Kong, March 16, 2017 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned the following first-time ratings to IBK Securities Co., Ltd.:

1. Long-term foreign currency issuer rating of A1, outlook stable

2. Short-term foreign currency issuer rating of Prime-1

The outlook is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The A1 long-term foreign currency issuer rating assigned to IBK Securities reflects: (1) the company's standalone assessment of Baa3, which incorporates its Financial Profile score of Baa2 and Korea's operating environment score of Ba1; (2) Moody's assessment that IBK Securities will receive a "very high" level of support from its parent, Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK, Aa2 stable, baseline credit assessment of baa2), in times of need; and (3) Moody's assessment that IBK Securities will receive a "very high" level of public support from the Korean government (Aa2 stable) if needed.

IBK Securities was founded in May 2008 to provide capital markets services to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Korea. It is 84% owned by IBK, a policy bank that provides financing mainly to the SME sector.

IBK Securities' standalone assessment of Baa3 reflects its: (1) strong funding profile and low leverage, due to available credit lines from the Korea Securities Finance Corporation (KSFC, Aa2 stable); (2) higher-than-peers but volatile earnings; (3) modest liquidity profile, due to the company's continued issuance of structured notes and sale of repurchase agreements; and (4) high risk appetite, reflecting its higher exposure to off-balance sheet items such as debt guarantees, and increasing exposure to corporate credit lending.

The Baa3 standalone assessment also incorporates the operating environment score of Ba1, which reflects Korea's strong macro level indicators and mature capital markets, which are offset in turn by challenging competitive dynamics.

Moody's believes that there is a very high likelihood that IBK Securities will receive affiliate support from its parent, IBK, because IBK Securities is 84% owned by IBK and forms a core part of IBK's overall strategy of providing both bank financing and capital markets access to SMEs, based on the SMEs' stage of development.

As a core subsidiary of a policy bank, IBK Securities is subject to an additional layer of risk management, such as an annual audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea. Furthermore, IBK Securities is allocated annual limit on capital usage from IBK, due to the fact that IBK's BIS capitalization is calculated on a consolidated basis, including financials from IBK Securities. The subsidiary also signs memorandums of understanding with IBK every year to successfully execute the banking group's strategies.

Moody's conclusion that there is very high likelihood of public support in times of need for IBK Securities, is based on the following factors:

(1) IBK Securities' designation as a securities company specializing in SMEs, and its strong leadership in areas related to government's policy initiatives; these factors show IBK Securities' strategic importance to the SME sector;

(2) Article 43 of the IBK Act, which explicitly states the government's responsibility for IBK's solvency; while this solvency guarantee applies only to IBK, this legislation shows the importance of IBK to the government, and we believe public support for IBK Securities is highly likely due to IBK Securities being an integral part of IBK's strategy; and

(3) IBK Securities' eligibility to receive public financial assistance from the Korea Depository Insurance Corp under the Depository Protection Act.

Factors That Could Lead to an Upgrade

IBK Securities' ratings could be upgraded if its parent's financial solvency strengthens, as represented by a higher baseline credit assessment.

IBK Securities' standalone assessment could improve if the company demonstrates: 1) a lower risk appetite, as represented by lower off-balance sheet exposures and high risk assets as a percentage of tangible assets; 2) an improved liquidity profile; and 3) higher and less volatile profitability.

However, Moody's points out that IBK Securities' standalone assessment will not likely improve unless Korea's operating environment improves.

Factors That Could Lead to a Downgrade

IBK Securities' ratings could be downgraded if the financial standing of its parent, IBK Securities, weakens — as represented by a lower baseline credit assessment — because such a situation could lead to a reduction in Moody's assessment of affiliate support.

Moreover, any indications of control or risk management failures, a marked increase in IBK Securities' risk appetite, or a sharp increase in earnings volatility could put downward pressure on the company's standalone assessment. Nevertheless, Moody's notes that the impact of such a development on its ratings could be limited, due to the high likelihood of affiliate and public support.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Securities Industry Market Makers published in February 2017. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

IBK Securities Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Seoul. Its assets totaled KRW4.8 trillion at end-September 2016.

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.

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.

Sophia Lee
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
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Graeme Knowd
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 813-5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: 813-5408-4100

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
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

No Related Data.
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