Moody's assigned foreign currency and local currency issuer ratings of A2 to Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. unit Shinhan Card Co. Ltd., with a negative outlook.
The ratings reflect Shinhan Card's strong domestic franchise, its modest standalone credit profile and its strategic importance to Shinhan Financial and the group's banking unit, Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd.
The rating also incorporates a five-notch uplift from Shinhan Card's standalone credit profile of "ba1," based on expectations of support from Shinhan Financial and Shinhan Bank, as well as the expected benefit from potential support for Shinhan Financial from the government, if needed.
The negative outlook on Shinhan Card's ratings is in line with the negative outlook on Shinhan Bank's ratings.
Moody's said an upgrade of Shinhan Card's ratings is unlikely in the near future. It added that an upgrade of Shinhan Bank's baseline credit assessment could result in an upgrade to Shinhan Card's ratings. The rating agency said it could upgrade Shinhan Card's standalone credit profile if the company improves its liquidity and preserves its solid capital adequacy.
Moody's could downgrade the ratings if there are signs of the company's reduced strategic importance for Shinhan Financial or if Shinhan Bank's baseline credit assessment is downgraded. The rating agency would also consider lowering the company's standalone credit assessment if its consolidated problem loan ratio exceeds 5%, its short-term debt or total debt exceeds 60%, or if its total assets and total shareholders' equity rises above 5.5x.