Fitch Ratings has assigned LB Finance PLC’s (LB; A- (lka)/Stable) proposed senior unsecured and subordinated debentures final National Long-Term Ratings of ‘A-(lka)’ and ‘BBB+(lka)’ respectively.
The assignment of the final ratings follow the receipt of documents conforming to information already received. The final ratings are the same as the expected rating assigned to the senior unsecured and subordinated debt on 19 September 2017.
The proposed issuance, which will have a tenor of five years and carry fixed coupons, will be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange.
LB expects to use the proceeds to fund loan book growth, reduce asset and liability maturity mismatches and to improve its Tier II capital base through the subordinated debt.
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, and satisfactory levels of capital, which are 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. The rating also reflects increasing liquidity risk, which could reduce its liquidity buffer.