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Rating Action:

Moody's places five Vietnamese financial institutions on review for downgrade

07 Apr 2020

Singapore, April 07, 2020 -- Moody's Investors Service has today placed the long-term ratings and assessments of three Vietnamese finance companies and two Vietnamese banks on review for downgrade.

The three finance companies are VPBank Finance Company Limited (FE Credit), Home Credit Vietnam Finance Company Limited (HCV), and SHBANK Finance Company Limited (SHB Finance).

The two banks are Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VP Bank), which fully owns FE Credit, and Saigon -- Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB), which fully owns SHB Finance.

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

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

The rapid and widening spread of the coronavirus outbreak, deteriorating global economic outlook, and falling oil prices, and asset price declines are creating a severe and extensive credit shock across many sectors, regions and markets. The consumer finance industry in Vietnam is vulnerable to the disruptions given its risky borrower profile and heavy reliance on wholesale funding. Moody's regards the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under its ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety. Today's action reflects the impact on Vietnamese consumer finance companies and their parent banks of the breadth and severity of the shock, and the deterioration in credit quality it has triggered.

The government of Vietnam (Ba3 negative) has rolled out travel restrictions and nationwide social distancing measures, including barring foreign nationals from entering the country, restricting people from leaving their homes and banning public gatherings of more than two people. The government has also implemented or announced measures to slow the disruption, such as lowering policy rates, encouraging financial institutions to grant forbearance to those affected, and allowing the affected to delay social security payments. The success of these measures will depend on the severity and duration of the outbreak.

The review for downgrade of FE Credit, HCV and SHB Finance reflects Moody's expectation that the economic shock caused by the coronavirus could have a negative impact on the companies' asset quality, profitability and liquidity, because of the risky profile of its borrowers and heavy reliance on wholesale, confidence-sensitive funding. The impact will depend on the severity and duration of the economic shock.

FE Credit, HCV and SHB Finance are consumer finance companies that mainly operate in Vietnam. They have a high exposure to unsecured products and target the low-income segment of the population, which are vulnerable to economic shocks. The expected increase in unemployment will likely weaken the overall debt-servicing-capacity of borrowers in this segment, given their generally already unstable and limited source of income.

In addition, the consumer companies' funding and liquidity position could deteriorate due to lower collections from customers and financial market volatility. Because they cannot accept retail deposits, the companies heavily rely on wholesale funding, such as inter-bank borrowing in local currency and US dollars and the issuance of wholesale certificates of deposit. Their heavy reliance on wholesale funding exposes them to potential refinancing risk if the disruption to the financial markets persists. The companies' liquid resources are modest, and a drop in collections could therefore squeeze liquidity.

The review for downgrade on the ratings and assessments of VP Bank takes into consideration the negative implications of a potential deterioration in the credit profile of FE Credit on that of the consolidated group. While loans extended by FE Credit accounted for only 22% of the consolidated loan book, the consumer finance subsidiary is a key revenue driver, contributing to around 43% of the consolidated group's profit before tax in 2019. Given the materiality of FE Credit, any weakening in its solvency will pressure VP Bank's asset quality and profitability. Outside of VP Bank's exposure to consumer finance, Moody's also expects pressure on the quality of its loans to at-risk sectors, including wholesale and retail, and export and tourism-related sectors. The degree of negative impact will depend on the length of the disruption, which is uncertain at this point.

Moody's expects a deterioration in SHB Finance's credit profile will only have a modest impact on its parent, SHB, as the subsidiary accounted for just 1% of consolidated total assets at the end of June 2019. However, while SHB's asset quality improved in 2019 following a sizable resolution of its legacy problem assets, the review for downgrade on the ratings and assessments of SHB reflects Moody's expectation that the bank's loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam -- which accounted for 31% of gross loans at the end of 2019 -- will pose renewed asset risk, as these SMEs have limited financial buffers to withstand revenue shocks. Compared to other rated Vietnamese banks, SHB's loan loss reserves and capitalization are weak and will provide little buffers against rising risks.

An upgrade is unlikely, given the review for downgrade. Nevertheless, Moody's could confirm the ratings with a stable or a negative outlook depending on macroeconomic conditions in Vietnam and the severity and duration of the coronavirus outbreak on the companies' credit metrics.

For FE Credit, HCV and SHB Finance, Moody's review for downgrade will focus on the companies' ability to manage credit and liquidity risk amid disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak.

The review will also focus on the effectiveness of domestic and global policy responses in supporting economic activity, and whether the global and local spread of the coronavirus will result in further disruptions to economic activity in Vietnam.

Moody's could downgrade the ratings if the companies' solvency and liquidity profile weaken materially as a result of a prolonged outbreak and poor risk management.

For VP Bank and SHB, Moody's review for downgrade will focus on the quality of the banks' consumer finance loans as well as loans to borrowers operating in industries directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Moody's could downgrade the ratings and assessments if the banks' BCAs are downgraded. The BCAs could be downgraded if the banks' solvency weakens as a result of a prolonged outbreak of the coronavirus. Any indication of a bank run or a limited access to market funds will also be negative for the banks' BCAs.

The principal methodology used in rating VPBank Finance Company Limited, Home Credit Vietnam Finance Company Limited, and SHBANK Finance Company Limited was Finance Companies Methodology published in November 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1187099. The principal methodology used in rating Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank and Saigon -- Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank was Banks Methodology published in November 2019 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1147865. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.

VPBank Finance Company Limited (FE Credit), headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, reported total assets of VND71 trillion as of 31 December 2019.

Home Credit Vietnam Finance Company Limited (HCV), headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, reported total assets of VND22 trillion as of 30 September 2019.

SHBANK Finance Company Limited (SHB Finance), headquartered in Hanoi, reported total assets of VND2 trillion as of 30 June 2019.

Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VP Bank), headquartered in Hanoi, reported total assets of VND377 trillion as of 31 December 2019.

Saigon - Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB), headquartered in Hanoi, reported total assets of VND366 trillion as of 31 December 2019.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

..Issuer: VPBank Finance Company Limited

.... Corporate Family Rating, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B1

....Outlook, Changed To Rating Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Home Credit Vietnam Finance Company Limited

.... Long-term Issuer Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B3

.... Corporate Family Rating, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B3

....Outlook, Changed To Ratings Under Review From Positive

..Issuer: SHBANK Finance Company Limited

.... Long-term Issuer Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B3

.... Corporate Family Rating, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B3

....Outlook, Changed To Ratings Under Review From Stable

..Issuer: Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently b1

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently b1

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3(cr)

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently Ba3

.... Long-term Issuer Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B1

....Long-term Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently (P)B1

....Long-term Senior Unsecured Bond (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B1

....Long-term Deposit Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B1

.... Short-term Issuer Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Remain unchanged at NP

.... Short-term Deposit Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Remain unchanged at NP

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Remain unchanged at NP

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Remains unchanged at NP(cr)

....Outlook, Changed To Ratings Under Review From Stable(m)

..Issuer: Saigon - Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank

.... Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently b3

.... Baseline Credit Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently b3

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B1(cr)

.... Long-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B1

.... Long-term Issuer Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B2

....Long-term Senior Unsecured Medium-Term Note Program (Foreign Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently (P)B2

....Long-term Deposit Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Placed on Review for Downgrade, currently B2

.... Short-term Issuer Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Remain unchanged at NP

.... Short-term Deposit Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Remain unchanged at NP

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Ratings (Foreign and Local Currency), Remain unchanged at NP

.... Short-term Counterparty Risk Assessment, Remains unchanged at NP(cr)

....Outlook, Changed To Ratings Under Review From Stable

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.

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 https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1133569.

At least one ESG consideration was material to the credit rating outcome announced and described above.

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 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 rating analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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.

Jeffrey Lee
Asst Vice President - Analyst
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
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

Graeme Knowd
MD - Banking
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 852 3758 1350
Client Service: 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
Client Service: 852 3551 3077

No Related Data.
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