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Rating Action:

Moody's concludes review on eight Vietnamese banks and affirms BIDV's ratings

19 Oct 2016

Singapore, October 19, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service has concluded its review of eight Vietnamese banks.

At the same time, Moody's has affirmed the long-term B1 local currency deposit and issuer ratings of Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam (BIDV). Its caa1 baseline credit assessment (BCA) has also been affirmed. The outlook on the bank's ratings remains stable.

A summary of Moody's rating actions on the eight banks which were under review for upgrade are as follows:

1. Upgrade of the long-term credit ratings and BCAs of Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Military Bank) and Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB). The banks' ratings outlooks are stable.

2. Confirmation/Affirmation of the long-term credit ratings of five banks, with their BCAs upgraded by one notch. These five banks are: Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank), Vietnam International Bank (VIB), An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ABB), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) and Vietnam Technological and Comm'l JSB (Techcombank). The banks' ratings outlooks are stable.

3. Confirmation of the B3 long-term credit ratings and caa1 BCA for Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (Sacombank). The bank's ratings outlook was revised to negative.

Moody's review of the eight banks' ratings for upgrade was initiated on 5 September 2016, following Moody's change of Vietnam's (B1 stable) banking system Macro Profile to "Weak" from "Weak-". The Macro Profile captures the risks related to the banks' operating and economic environment.

The BCA of JSC Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) remains on review for upgrade, pending regulatory approvals and finalization of an announced capital increase. The B1/B2 long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of that bank are not on review.

The full list of rating actions is provided at the end of this press-release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The positive rating actions are broadly driven by Moody's view that the more benign operating and economic conditions for banks in Vietnam (B1 stable) have resulted in somewhat lower solvency and liquidity risks for the majority of Moody's-rated banks in the country.

Vietnamese banks will continue to benefit from the country's robust economic growth, as well as from Vietnam's enhanced — but still weak — institutional strength. These positive developments support the banks' funding profiles.

Moody's has captured the abovementioned macroeconomic improvements by changing the Macro Profile for Vietnam's banking system to "Weak" from "Weak-" in early September 2016.

Despite today's broadly positive rating actions, Moody's considers that the banking system in Vietnam remains undercapitalized, against the backdrop of rapid credit growth and a high share of legacy problem assets which are not always adequately disclosed on the banks' balance sheets. Moody's expects that these challenges will continue to persist in the medium term, despite some improvements.

DETAILED RATING ACTIONS ON DEPOSIT RATINGS AND OUTLOOK

RATINGS RATIONALE FOR MILITARY BANK AND SHB

Military Bank's BCA was upgraded to b2 from caa1, broadly driven by a steady improvement in its financial fundamentals. Specifically, the bank's asset quality metrics have stabilized, as it made progress on resolving or writing off its problem exposures. The bank's loss absorbing buffers have also increased.

Military Bank received fresh capital from new and existing shareholders in 2015 that boosted its capital ratios above that of many of its domestic peers. Additionally, the active provisioning on loans in the past two years — with a large part of its pre-provision income channeled into loan loss reserves — has helped strengthen its capacity to cushion against losses.

As a result, the bank's solvency position — as indicated by the risk that it faces relative to its loss absorbing resources — has improved tangibly. Problem loans and net Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) exposures represented 37% of the bank's loan loss reserves and tangible common equity at end-2015, down from 52% the year before.

At the same time, its long-term deposit and issuer ratings have been upgraded to B2 from B3. However, the ratings do not incorporate any uplift for government support above the bank's b2 BCA, because the BCA is positioned just one notch lower relative to the government's B1 rating.

SHB's BCA has been upgraded to b3 from caa1, broadly driven by improvements in its funding profile, against the backdrop of benign operating conditions. Specifically, deposits are increasingly funding the bank's total assets, which stand at 75% of its balance sheet as of 30 June 2016, from 63% as of 31 December 2013. Elevated asset risks in the context of low capital buffers remain its key credit challenge.

SHB's long-term deposit and issuer ratings have been upgraded to B2 from B3 because Moody's expects that SHB will receive a moderate level of support from the Government of Vietnam, in case of need.

RATINGS RATIONALE FOR VIETINBANK, VIB, ABB, ACB AND TECHCOMBANK

The BCAs of Vietinbank, VIB, ABB, ACB and Techcombank have been upgraded to b2, broadly driven by improvements in the banks' financial profiles, against the backdrop of Vietnam's benign operating and economic environment.

The upgrade of Vietinbank's BCA to b2 from b3 is mainly driven by the bank's improved funding profile. The bank's market funds / tangible banking assets ratio fell to around 16% as of June 2016 from 24% in December 2015. The main challenges in terms of its financial profile include high asset risks and a weak and decreasing core capital buffer.

Vietinbank's B1/B2 long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings have been affirmed because Moody's expects that the bank will receive a very high level of support from the Government of Vietnam, in case of need, given the high level of government ownership and the bank's systemic importance.

VIB's BCA was upgraded to b2 from b3 because of improving asset quality metrics and the bank's good capital buffer with a Tangible Common Equity / Risk Weighted Assets ratio of 12.8% at end-June 2016. Key risk factors include modest provisioning coverage, low profitability and elevated reliance on market funds.

ACB's BCA has been upgraded to b2 from b3 to reflect the gradual progress it has made in the resolution of legacy assets, and its generally comfortable funding and liquidity profile, supported by a moderate growth strategy in 2014 and 2015. Key risk factors include pressured capital levels, because growth picked up considerably in the first half of 2016.

For Techcombank, the upgrade of its BCA reflects an improving asset quality trend and a generally healthy funding and liquidity profile. Similar to other banks in Vietnam, Techcombank's core capital buffer is under pressure because of rapid loan growth.

The upgrade of ABB's BCA to b2 from b3 reflects the bank's steady funding and liquidity profile, and continued improvements in its asset quality since year-end 2014. The bank's capital buffer is also higher when compared to most domestic peers, but it is facing negative pressure because of the expansion of its balance sheet.

The B2 long-term local currency deposit and issuer ratings of VIB, ACB, Techcombank and ABB have been confirmed/affirmed, despite the upgrading of their BCAs. Moody's continues to incorporate a moderate probability of government support in these ratings, however this does not result in any ratings uplift because the banks' b2 BCAs are just one notch lower than the B1 sovereign rating for Vietnam.

RATINGS RATIONALE FOR SACOMBANK

Moody's has confirmed Sacombank's B3 long-term ratings and caa1 BCA, and changed the outlook to negative.

The confirmation of the caa1 BCA reflects the high solvency and liquidity risks faced by Sacombank, following its merger with Southern Bank in the fourth quarter of 2015. At end-June 2016, Sacombank's problem assets increased substantially from the pre-merger period, while its credit provisions were very slim.

The BCA also incorporates the risks related to Sacombank's corporate behavior and opacity and complexity. Corporate behavior risks originate from a situation where the majority of Sacombank's shares is managed by the State Bank of Vietnam, which create uncertainty around the financial health and future development of the bank. Opacity risks stem from the fact that the bank has not yet published its audited financial report for 2015, which introduces the risk that the unaudited financials might be restated.

The B3 long-term ratings of Sacombank were confirmed because Moody's continues to incorporate one notch of uplift, based on the rating agency's expectation of moderate support from the government of Vietnam.

The negative outlook on Sacombank's ratings reflects the uncertainty around the strategic direction of the bank, its unclear ownership structure and the true scope of asset quality challenges.

RATINGS RATIONALE FOR BIDV

Moody's has affirmed BIDV's local currency deposit and issuer ratings of B1 and its BCA of caa1. BIDV's foreign currency deposit rating is positioned at B2, in line with Vietnam's foreign currency deposit ceiling. The outlook on its long-term credit ratings is stable.

The affirmation of the caa1 BCA reflects the elevated risks in BIDV's balance sheet, namely a higher stock of problem assets in the first half of 2016. BIDV's single borrower and industry concentration risks remain high against weak capital levels. The bank has a strategy to improve its capital buffer, however these efforts are yet to materialize. The BCA also incorporates our assessment that BIDV's funding and liquidity profile benefits from its depositary relationships with SOEs as well as its 12% system deposit market share.

BIDV's B1 long-term local currency deposit rating has been affirmed because Moody's continues to incorporate in the rating, a very high level of support for the bank in times of need from the Government of Vietnam, based on the fact that BIDV is the largest state-owned bank in the system by total assets.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS UP/DOWN

Substantial improvements in the asset quality and core capital levels of Vietnamese banks will be positive for the ratings.

The ratings could be downgraded if problem loan ratios — as adjusted by Moody's — increase to in excess of 10% of gross loans, or if core capital buffers drop well below 8%. The ratings are also sensitive to a significant weakening in the banks' funding and liquidity profiles.

Moody's notes that Sacombank's ratings carry a negative outlook and could be downgraded if asset risks increase further and demonstrate a substantial negative effect on the bank's solvency and liquidity profiles.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Taking into account today's announcement, the affected ratings are as follows:

An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank

- Upgrade the BCA and Adjusted BCA to b2 from b3

- Affirm foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Upgrade long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr) from B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh, the bank reported total assets of VND 70,353 billion (USD 2.8 billion) at end-June 2016.

Asia Commercial Bank

- Upgrade the BCA and Adjusted BCA to b2 from b3

- Affirm foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Upgrade long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr) from B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh, the bank reported total assets of VND 211,887 billion (USD 8.5 billion) at end-June 2016.

Bank for Investment & Development of Vietnam

- Affirmed the BCA and Adjusted BCA at caa1

- Affirm local currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B1; outlook stable

- Affirm foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Affirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B1; outlook stable

- Affirm long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Hanoi, the bank reported total assets of VND 930,268 billion (USD 37.2 billion) at end-June 2016.

Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank

- Upgrade BCA and Adjusted BCA to b2 from caa1

- Upgrade local and foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings to B2 from B3; outlook stable

- Upgrade local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings to B2 from B3; outlook stable

- Upgrade long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr) from B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Hanoi, the bank had total assets of VND 312,375 billion (USD 12.5 billion) at end-June 2016.

Saigon - Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank

- Upgrade BCA and Adjusted BCA to b3 from caa1

- Upgrade local and foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings to B2 from B3; outlook stable

- Upgrade local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings to B2 from B3; outlook stable

- Confirm long-term CR Assessment at B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Hanoi, the bank had total assets of VND 211,887 billion (USD 9.3 billion) at end-June 2016.

Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint-Stock Bank

- Confirm BCA and Adjusted BCA at caa1

- Confirm local and foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B3; outlook negative

- Confirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B3; outlook negative

- Confirm long-term CR Assessment to B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is negative

Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, the bank had total assets of VND 312,375 billion (USD 13.8 billion) at end-June 2016.

Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade

- Upgrade BCA and Adjusted BCA to b2 from b3

- Affirm local currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B1; outlook stable

- Affirm foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Affirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B1; outlook stable

- Affirm foreign currency senior unsecured rating at B1; outlook stable

- Confirm long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Hanoi, the bank had total assets of VND 850,210 billion (USD 34.0 billion) at end-June 2016.

Vietnam International Bank

- Upgrade BCA and Adjusted BCA to b2 from b3

- Affirm foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Upgrade long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr) from B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Hanoi, the bank had total assets of VND 86,707 billion (USD 3.5 billion) at end-June 2016.

Vietnam Technological and Comm'l JSB

- Upgrade BCA and Adjusted BCA to b2 from b3

- Affirm foreign currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local currency long-term bank deposit ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Confirm local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings at B2; outlook stable

- Upgrade long-term CR Assessment to B1(cr) from B2(cr)

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term deposit ratings at NP

- Affirm local currency and foreign currency short-term issuer ratings at NP

- Affirm short-term CR Assessment at NP(cr)

- Outlook is stable

Headquartered in Hanoi, the bank had total assets of VND 212,676 billion (USD 9.4 billion) at end-June 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.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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.

Eugene Tarzimanov
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Gene Fang
Associate Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Singapore Pte. Ltd.
50 Raffles Place #23-06
Singapore Land Tower
Singapore 48623
Singapore
JOURNALISTS: (852) 3758 -1350
SUBSCRIBERS: (852) 3551-3077

No Related Data.
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