Fitch rates LB Finance senior and subordinated debt

Fitch Ratings has assigned LB Finance PLC’s (LB; A-(lka)/Stable) proposed senior unsecured and subordinated debentures expected National Long-Term Ratings of ‘A-(lka)(EXP)’ and ‘BBB+(lka)(EXP)’ respectively.

The issuance is to total LKR5bn, with the debentures to mature in five years and carry fixed coupons. The debentures are to be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. LB expects to use the proceeds to reduce asset and liability maturity mismatches and to improve its Tier II capital base.

The final ratings are subject to the receipt of final documentation conforming to information already received.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

The proposed senior debentures are rated at the same level as LB’s National Long-Term Rating as they constitute unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the company. The proposed subordinated debentures are rated one notch below its National Long-Term Rating to reflect the subordination to its senior unsecured obligations.

The rating of LB captures its established franchise, satisfactory levels of capital supported by sound profitability through its higher-yielding products. These are counterbalanced by its relatively higher risk appetite as seen from its exposure to gold-backed lending.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

The ratings on the proposed debentures will move in tandem with LB’s National Long-Term Rating.

A full list of LB’s ratings follows:

National Long-Term Rating: ‘A-(lka)’; Stable Outlook

Sri Lanka rupee-denominated subordinated debentures: ‘BBB+(lka)’

Proposed Sri Lanka rupee-denominated senior unsecured debentures: ‘A-(lka)(EXP)’

Proposed subordinated debentures: ‘BBB+(lka)(EXP)’