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S&P affirms Banco Santander Chile

S&P Global Ratings on Dec. 14 affirmed Banco Santander Chile's long- and short-term issuer credit ratings at A and A-1, respectively, with a stable outlook.

The company's stand-alone credit profile remains at "a-."

The ratings reflect S&P's strong assessment of the bank's business position as a leading lender in Chile, its adequate risk position with improving asset quality metrics, as well as its adequate capital and earnings due to a projected risk-adjusted capital ratio of about 8.1% for the next two years.

Santander Chile had a stable funding ratio of 97.77% as of September with a three-year average of 97.7%, the rating agency noted, adding that the bank also has adequate liquidity.

The company is rated one notch above its stand-alone credit profile because S&P considers it to be a highly systemically important bank, given its sizable 18.03% market share in terms of deposits at the end of September.

"Given our view of the Chilean government as being supportive towards the private financial institutions, we believe there is a moderately high likelihood of government support," S&P said.

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