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June 17 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings has assigned Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. (BOCOM) Hong Kong Branch’s Chinese yuan-denominated senior unsecured notes a Long-Term Rating of ‘A’. The notes will be issued on 23 June 2014 in three tranches, with three-year maturity, five-year maturity and seven-year maturity. The issue amounts are CNY1bn, CNY0.5bn and CNY0.5bn respectively. The notes will be issued under BOCOM Hong Kong Branch’s USD3bn euro medium-term note (EMTN) programme, which was rated by Fitch on 14 May 2014. They will be issued to institutional investors and will be listed in the GreTai Securities Market. The proceeds from the notes will be used for the branch’s overall working capital and general corporate purposes.
The final rating is assigned following the receipt of the final documents conforming to information already received.
The notes represent direct, unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations of BOCOM, and are rated in line with BOCOM’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘A’. The bank’s IDR is in turn based on an extremely high probability of support, if required, from the Chinese government.
Any changes to ratings of the notes will be directly correlated to changes in BOCOM’s IDR, which in turn will reflect any shift in the perceived willingness or ability of China’s government to support BOCOM in a full and timely manner.