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Moody's assigns ratings to China Merchants Securities

Moody's on Dec. 16 said it assigned Baa1 long- and and Prime-2 short-term issuer ratings to China Merchants Securities Co. Ltd.

The entity-level outlook on the company is stable.

The rating agency said China Merchants Securities' long-term issuer rating takes into account the company's stand-alone assessment of Ba1; a one-notch uplift, based on the agency's assumption of a very high level of support from and a high level of dependence on its parent China Merchants Group Ltd.; and a two-notch uplift, based on the agency's assumption of a high level of support from the Chinese government via its parent.

The company's stand-alone assessment reflects its long track record in China's securities industry, ample liquidity, good profitability and low leverage when compared with global peers, Moody's said. Meanwhile, risks stemming from the rapid increase in the company's fixed-income securities investments, its rising leverage and the challenging operating environment for securities companies in China offset the credit strengths.