Stable outlook for BSF's $2bn note
Limassol, March 30, 2010
Moody's Investors Service has assigned stable outlook for the $2.0 billion euro medium-term note programme (EMTN) of Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF).
Senior unsecured and subordinated notes issued under this programme would be rated at Aa3 and A1, respectively, said a statement.
Moody's also expects to assign a Aa3 rating with stable outlook for the bank's first $650 million senior unsecured drawdown under the programme. The definitive rating will be assigned upon receipt of all duly executed and final documentation.
The rating for senior unsecured notes is set at the same level as the local currency deposit rating for the bank.
Moody's added that BSF's Aa3 long-term local currency deposit rating is based on (i) the bank's A2 Baseline Credit Assessment (a measure of stand-alone financial strength, which maps directly from BSF's C+ bank financial strength rating) and (ii) two notches of uplift, reflecting the rating agency's assessment of a very high probability of systemic support for the bank in the event of need.
Moody's noted that the ratings on BSF's EMTN programme do not immediately apply to any individual notes issued under the programme.
Furthermore, Moody's does not intend to assign the programme rating to individual notes issued under the programme with features linked to the performance of another obligor (credit-linked notes); moreover, Moody's does not intend to assign the programme rating to notes for which payment of principal and/or interest is variable and contractually dependent on either the occurrence of a non-credit-linked event or the performance of an index (non-credit-linked notes), except for notes whose principal and coupon payments are affected by standard sources of variation, said the statement.
Moody's previous rating action on BSF was on February 15, when it upgraded the bank's long-term global foreign currency deposit ratings to Aa3 from A1.
Headquartered in Riyadh, BSF reported total assets of $32.2 billion as at end-December 2009.-TradeArabia News Service