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Fitch takes ratings actions on HSBC's French, German units

Fitch Ratings on Oct. 11 took ratings actions on HSBC Holdings Plc units HSBC France SA and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG.

The agency upgraded the French unit's viability rating to "a-" from "bbb+" and withdrew that of the German unit after affirming it at "a-."

Fitch also assigned HSBC France a AA-(dcr) derivative counterparty rating as part of the agency's rollout of such ratings in western Europe and the U.S., and affirmed the long- and short-term issuer default ratings of both units at AA-/F1+, with a stable outlook on the long-term ratings. The two units' support ratings were affirmed at 1.

The withdrawal of HSBC Trinkaus' viability rating reflects Fitch's view that the unit no longer has the strategy to maintain a stand-alone franchise that could exist without ownership of the parent company, while the upgrade of the French unit's viability rating reflects Fitch's view of improvement in the bank's franchise and also factors in the bank's moderate risk appetite, adequate asset quality, satisfactory capitalization and stable liquidity and funding.