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Fitch upgrades 3 Thai banks, affirms 3 other lenders

Fitch Ratings upgraded the national long-term issuer default ratings of TMB Bank PCL and Thanachart Bank PCL to AA-(tha) from A+(tha), as well as the national long- and short-term ratings of Thanachart Capital PCL to A+(tha) from A(tha) and F1+(tha) from F1(tha), respectively.

The rating agency said Sept. 10 that it also affirmed TMB Bank's long- and short-term issuer default ratings at BBB- and F3, respectively, as well as its viability rating at "bbb-," while Thanachart Bank's national short-term rating was affirmed at F1+(tha).

Fitch also upgraded the viability rating of United Overseas Bank (Thai) PCL to "bbb-" from "bb+" and affirmed its long- and short-term foreign currency issuer default ratings at A- and F2, respectively.

The upgrade on TMB Bank's ratings reflects the assessment of reduced gaps, such as asset quality, when comparing the bank's credit profile with Thailand's higher-rated private sector banks, while the similar ratings action on Thanachart Bank is on the back of the lender's improving financial profile, particularly in asset quality.

The viability rating upgrade on United Overseas Bank (Thai) reflects its improving financial performance, particularly in terms of earnings, funding and liquidity, which Fitch expects to be sustained over the medium term.

Further, the rating agency also affirmed the national long- and short-term ratings of CIMB Thai Bank PCL at AA-(tha) and F1+(tha), as well as the similar ratings of Bank of China (Thai) PCL and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (Thai) PCL and ICBC (Thai) Leasing Co. Ltd. at AAA(tha) and F1+ (tha), respectively.

The outlooks on eight companies, including Thanachart Capital and ICBC (Thai) Leasing, are all stable.