Fitch reaffirms HSH Nordbank's investment grade rating
Hamburg/Kiel, January 31, 2013 - Today the Fitch rating agency reaffirmed HSH Nordbank's long-term rating of "A-" with a stable outlook and the short-term "F1" rating.
In doing so Fitch - like Moody's rating agency before them - has left the most important credit rating for the Bank in the long-term and short-term segments unchanged at the investment grade, which is the highest rating category. The reasons given by Fitch were the Bank's considerable importance for the economy in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein as well as its continued close links to the savings banks and their federal state shareholders, who have assured HSH Nordbank of their support.
Fitch has lowered the rating excluding shareholder support, the so-called viability rating, by one notch from "b+" to "b" and is retaining the "Rating Watch Negative" status. The reasons given by Fitch are the aggravated situation in international shipping with the concomitant recent increase in the risk potential for the Bank. The rating agency is also focussing attention on the default guarantee granted in 2009, which Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein last year undertook to increase.
"The reaffirmation of our investment grade rating supports the further establishment of our business model. Parallel to this we are stepping up implementation of the measures already identified to strengthen our capital ratios," said Constantin von Oesterreich, Chief Executive Officer of HSH Nordbank.
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