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S&P affirms Venezuela's CAF on preferred creditor status

S&P Global Ratings on Dec. 13 affirmed its ratings on Banco De Desarrollo De América Latina, or CAF, noting that it expects the development bank to continue benefiting from preferred creditor treatment for its government loans.

S&P affirmed CAF's long- and short-term issuer credit ratings at AA- and A-1+, respectively, with a stable outlook.

Despite severe cash constraints for the government of Venezuela, where CAF is based, payments from the country continue to flow to CAF. The rating agency does not expect Venezuela to include debt owed to the bank in any of the restructurings it has already initiated.

"In our view, the embedded risks in CAF's loan portfolio, particularly stemming from Venezuela, are counterbalanced by it consistently improving its liquidity and capital ratios and enhancing its governance and management," S&P said.

"We expect CAF to maintain measured growth in its loan portfolio and continue to strengthen its capital base through the $1.2 billion capital payment scheduled for 2017-2018 and thereafter from the $4.5 billion already approved for the following years and from internal capital generation."

CAF was recently criticized by Venezuela's opposition for approving a credit line of up to $400 million for the country's central bank.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.