March 7 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency) LOND Fitch Ratings has assigned Turkiye Garanti Bankasi's (Garanti) TRY750 million 5 year fixed rate senior unsecured notes a 'BBB' rating. The notes have a maturity date of March 7, 2018 and a coupon rate of 7.375%, priced to yield 7.5% to investors. A full list of Garanti's ratings is at the end of this rating action commentary. KEY RATING DRIVERS These notes rank equally with all of Garanti's other senior unsecured obligations. The rating is in line with Garanti's Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BBB'/Stable, which is driven by the bank's Viability Rating (VR). Garanti is Turkey's second-largest private bank controlling a 12% market share in assets at end-September 2012. The bank's strategic shareholders are Dogus Group (Dogus), a large Turkish industrial and financial conglomerate which holds a 24% stake and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA, 'BBB+' Negative), a leading Spanish bank which controls around 25% of the bank's shares. Dogus and BBVA are equally represented on Garanti's Board. RATING SENSITIVITIES The rating assigned to these bonds is sensitive to a change in Garanti's VR. The bank's VR and local currency Long-Term IDR could be upgraded by one notch if Garanti is able to maintain its sound financial metrics as it continues to grow, and the economy remains stable. The ratings could be downgraded if growth is mismanaged, resulting in markedly higher leverage and weaker asset quality. This is not Fitch's base case. Garanti is currently rated as follows: Long-term foreign and local currency IDR: 'BBB'/Stable Short-term foreign and local currency IDR: 'F3' National Long-term Rating: 'AAA(tur)'/Stable Viability Rating: 'bbb' Support Rating: '3' Support Rating Floor: 'BB+' Senior unsecured debt: 'BBB'