News Column

Fitch Downgrades Banrural's IDR to 'BB' following Downgrade of Guatemala

June 27, 2014

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Fitch Ratings has downgraded Banco de Desarrollo Rural S.A. (Banrural)'s long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BB' from 'BB+' and its Viability Rating (VR) to 'bb' from 'bb+'. The Rating Outlook on the IDR has been revised to Stable from Negative.

The National Ratings of Banrural and its subsidiaries Financiera Rural, S.A. and Aseguradora Rural, S.A. are unaffected by this rating action. A full list of rating actions follows at the end of this press release.

Today's rating actions follow Fitch's recent downgrade of Guatemala's long-term rating to 'BB' from 'BB+' and country ceiling to 'BB+' from 'BBB-'; the actions do not reflect changes in the bank's performance. (For additional details see 'Fitch Downgrades Guatemala's Ratings to 'BB'; Outlook Revised to Stable', published June 20, 2014).

KEY RATING DRIVERS - IDRS AND VR

Banrural's IDRs are driven by its VR. Banrural's VR reflect the bank's strong capitalization, high profitability, good credit quality and stable and diversified deposit base. Banrural's ratings are tempered by its moderate concentrations in public sector funding, limited revenue diversification and lower efficiency levels, resulting from its micro-finance orientation. Banrural's ratings are constrained up to the sovereign's ratings as it receives a significant share of its funding from public sector institutions.

Banrural maintains a strong local franchise underpinned by its high market share; ample geographic coverage and unique capacity to provide products and services adapted for its main clients. The bank's experience in the micro-finance segment results in good delinquency metrics, comparable with its corporate oriented peers. Banrural's non-performing loan to total loans ratio remains below 1% while reserves coverage is adequate, above 2% of total loans as of March 2014.

The bank's profitability is above similarly rated peers, boosted by its ample net interest margin. The bank's low funding cost and higher interest income compensate for its weaker efficiency levels and lower income diversification.

Banrural's capital levels continue comparing positively with its main local peers and similarly rated international banks. In Fitch's opinion, the bank's capitalization will remain sufficient to sustain growth, underpinned by strong internal capital generation and moderate dividends payments.

RATING SENSITIVITIES - IDRS AND VR

Fitch has revised Banrural's Outlook to Stable to be consistent with the Sovereign's Outlook. Changes in the Sovereign rating may result in similar rating actions on Banrural's VR and IDR.

KEY RATING DRIVERS - SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Banrural's support rating (SR) of '3' reflects Fitch's opinion that there is a moderate probability of support from the state, given its systemic importance in the banking system.

Banrural's SR and support rating floor (SRF) indicate that in the event of individual risk-profile deterioration, the IDR would not fall below 'BB-', given the agency's opinion that government support will be forthcoming.

The current support rating floor ('BB-'), one notch below the sovereign rating, is explained by the moderate financial flexibility of the government to provide support to systemically important banks in the country and the significant presence of foreign currency funding.

RATING SENSITIVITIES - SUPPORT RATING AND SUPPORT RATING FLOOR

Banrural's support SR and SRF are sensitive to changes in the sovereign rating.

NATIONAL RATINGS - UNAFFECTED

The national scale ratings of Banrural and its above mentioned subsidiaries are unaffected by the review of Guatemala's Sovereign Rating and Banrural's international ratings. The National Rating scale provides a relative measure of creditworthiness for rated entities within the country concerned. Each National Rating scale is unique, and is defined to serve the needs of the local market in question.

Fitch has taken the following rating actions:

Banrural:

--Local Currency Long-term IDR downgraded to 'BB' from 'BB+'; Outlook Stable;

--Viability Rating downgraded to 'bb' from 'bb+';

--Support Rating affirmed at '3';

--Support Rating Floor affirmed at BB-';

--Local Currency Short Term Issuer Default Rating affirmed at 'B'.

No action has been taken on the following national scale ratings:

Banrural:

--National Long Term Rating at 'AA+(gtm)', Outlook Stable;

--National Short Term Rating at 'F1+(gtm)'.

Financiera Rural

--National Long Term Rating at 'AA+(gtm)';

--National Short Term Rating at 'F1+(gtm').

Aseguradora Rural:

--National Insurance Financial Strength at 'AA+(gtm)'.

Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Fitch Downgrades Guatemala's Ratings to 'BB'; Outlook Revised to Stable' (June 20, 2014);

--'Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria' (Jan. 31, 2014);

--'National Scale Ratings Criteria' (Oct. 30, 2014);

--'Guatemala' (June 24, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=732397

National Scale Ratings Criteria

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=720082

Guatemala

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=750931

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status

http://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=836968

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.



Fitch Ratings

Primary Analyst (Banrural)

Mark Narron

Director

+1 212-612-7898

Fitch Ratings, Inc.

33 Whitehall Street

New York, NY 10004

or

Secondary Analyst (Banrural)

Marcela Galicia

Director

+503 2516 6616

or

Primary Analyst (Aseguradora Rural)

Maria Jose Arango

Associate Director

+503 2516 6620

or

Primary Analyst (Financiera Rural)

Edgar Cartagena

Director

+503 2516 6613

or

Committee Chairperson

Eduardo Santibanez

Senior Director

+56-2-499-3307

or

Media Relations, New York

Elizabeth Fogerty, +1 212-908-0526

elizabeth.fogerty@fitchratings.com

Source: Fitch Ratings


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