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Fitch lowers outlook on Taiwan's Chailease Finance, units to negative

Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook on Taiwan-based Chailease Finance Co. Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating and national long-term rating to negative from stable due to the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The rating agency said April 2 that it also lowered the outlook on the national long-term ratings of Chailease Finance's subsidiaries, Fina Finance & Trading Co. Ltd. and Chailease Consumer Finance Co. Ltd., to negative from stable, while the outlook on Chailease Holding Co. Ltd.'s long-term issuer default rating was also lowered to negative from stable.

Fitch affirmed Chailease Finance's long-term issuer default rating at BBB and its national long-term rating at A+(twn).

The lowered outlook reflects Fitch's view that disruptions from the coronavirus could pressure the group's asset quality and profitability, weakening its capitalization and credit profile. The rating agency noted that Chailease Finance focuses on financing small- and medium-sized enterprises, whose credit profiles are more susceptible to a sharp economic downturn.

The affirmation of Chailease Finance's ratings takes into account Fitch's expectation that the group will sustain adequate capital and liquidity buffers to withstand the challenges from the pandemic.