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S&P affirms ratings of Bank of East Asia, unit

S&P Global Ratings affirmed 's long- andshort-term issuer credit ratings at A and A-1, respectively.

The outlook on the long-term rating is negative, the ratingagency said Sept. 22.

S&P also affirmed Bank of East Asia (China) Ltd.'s A long-term and A-1short-term issuer credit ratings.

The ratings affirmation takes into consideration Bank ofEast Asia's established franchise in Hong Kong and its adequate capitalization.S&P expects the bank's loan quality to remain under pressure amid aneconomic slowdown in China.

The rating agency may downgrade the bank's rating if thereis a likelihood that support from the government of Hong Kong has reduced. Adowngrade may also occur if the bank's loan quality deteriorates more severelythan the industry average in Hong Kong or China.

The ratings may be upgraded if the bank's group creditprofile strengthens to offset the pressure of reducing government support.Another factor that may lead to an upgrade is if the bank builds itsrisk-adjusted capital above 10%.

S&P Global Ratingsand S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.