(PRESS RELEASE) – Fitch Ratings-Colombo-10 November 2016: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka Branch’s (SCBSL) National Long- Term Rating at ‘AAA(lka)’. The Outlook is Stable. KEY RATING DRIVERS SCBSL’s rating reflects the credit profile and financial strength of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB: A+/Stable).
The rating is linked with SCB’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) because of SCBSL’s legal status as a branch of SCB, which makes it a part of the same legal entity. SCB’s rating is higher than Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Local- and Foreign-Currency IDRs of ‘B+/Negative’ and as a result, SCBSL’s rating is at the highest end of the National Rating scale for Sri Lanka. Fitch believes support from SCB would be forthcoming if required, subject to regulatory constraints on remitting money into Sri Lanka.
The local branch represented 0.12% of SCB’s total assets at end-2015 and 1.4% of local banking sector assets at end 1H16. Fitch expects the branch to maintain sufficient capitalisation to support its business plans despite regular profit repatriations. The branch’s Fitch Core Capital ratio remained high, at 23.6%, at end-June 2016 (2015: 25.5%).
Fitch expects SCBSL’s loan book to remain concentrated among top-tier corporate clients, despite its focus on building its retail book. Its business model has helped sustain better-thanindustry asset-quality metrics, with a reported gross non-performing loan ratio of 0.35% at endJune 2016 (2015:0.40%). RATING SENSITIVITIES A downgrade of SCBSL’s rating could result from SCB’s IDR falling below Sri Lanka’s IDR. Significant changes to Fitch’s expectations of support from SCB could also be negative for the rating.