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Fitch Ratings wins Best International Ratings Agency Award

Fitch Ratings has been named the Best International Ratings Agency in the FinanceAsia China Awards 2018.

Trade Wars and Regulation Threaten Australia's House Prices

Falling house prices have prompted half of Australia's fixed-income investors to nominate a domestic housing market downturn as the top risk to the country's credit markets over the next 12 months, according to Fitch Ratings' 4Q18 fixed-income investor survey.

Hong Kong Bank Tailwinds Offset by Rising Competition

Hong Kong banks' earnings are likely to be supported over the medium term by strong volume growth, particularly in lending to mainland China, and higher interest rates. However, rising competition in the local market could largely offset these positive trends, particularly for smaller banks, while there is a risk that banks shift into higher-yielding assets to support their margins.

China Bond Defaults to Rise in 2019 Despite Policy Easing

Chinese corporate bond defaults are likely to continue to rise in 2019 due to high refinancing pressures, the government's greater tolerance for defaults, and tight credit availability - despite the recent shift in the policy stance towards easing. Corporate defaults should remain concentrated in the private sector, which has benefitted less from policy easing than state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and local-government financing vehicles. 

Emerging Market Pressures to Test Asian Sovereigns

The rising cost of US dollar funding, escalating US-China trade tensions and China's slowing economy will continue to generate a challenging environment for emerging markets (EM) over the next 18 months. Tighter monetary and credit conditions are weighing on EM growth prospects, and we expect Emerging Asian economies to be affected by further volatility in financial markets, which will test their resilience to external pressures. 

Chinese MMF Concentration Risk

The Chinese money market fund (MMF) industry will continue to diversify due to sustained regulatory intervention. However, the industry remains highly concentrated, with 27% of total assets held in the three largest funds as of end-June 2018.
 

Rating Action

Fitch Upgrades Toyota's Rating to 'A+'

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Toyota Motor Corporation's (Toyota) Long-Term Foreign- Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'A+' from 'A'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The agency has also upgraded Toyota's senior unsecured rating to 'A+' from 'A'. A complete list of rating actions follows at the end of this rating action commentary.
 

Indian Steelmakers Face Asset Acquisition, Trade Risks

The acquisitions of distressed Indian steel assets could significantly increase the leverage of the acquiring companies, which also face the risk of domestic output being displaced by a substantial increase in imports from the escalation of trade barriers, says Fitch Ratings in a new report.

China Private Education Blue Book

Revenue growth in China's private education sector, which consists of private schools and private education service providers, is likely to moderate to high-single-digits, from the low-teens.

 

Other Blue Books

You may also access the links below for more In-depth industry and bond market analysis:

Aircraft Lessors See Cyclical Benefits; Challenges Emerge

Aircraft lessors continue to benefit from largely favorable market conditions, including above-average air traffic growth, increasing operating lease penetration, demand for aircraft across the age spectrum and accessible funding markets. 

Indonesian Homebuilders Hedge Principal Repayment

Hedging instruments will curb Indonesian homebuilders' additional principal repayment risks at maturity if the rupiah depreciates to USD/IDR15,500 and USD/IDR16,000, says Fitch Ratings. 

Maldives Election Outcome May Ease Political Tensions

The surprise victory of an opposition coalition in the Maldives election held on 23 September could ease the tense political climate of recent years and strengthen prospects for stability, says Fitch Ratings. 

Royal Commission Adds to Pressure on Australian Banks

Australian banks are likely to face additional profit pressure as a result of the Royal Commission's interim report into alleged misconduct in the financial sector. The findings should not affect bank credit ratings immediately, but could raise compliance and regulatory costs, lead to fines and legal class action and further slow credit growth. We maintain a negative outlook on the banking sector, which also reflects higher wholesale funding costs and rising loan-impairment charges.

Indian Telcos to Benefit From New National Policy

India's new national digital communication policy (NDCP) could benefit the sector by making it easier to meet rapidly rising data demand and addressing tax and fee burdens on the industry. The NDCP's plan to expand broadband coverage funded by the universal service obligation fund and in partnership with private telcos is likely to support private telcos' growth, as it will broaden the customer base and improve internet adoption, particularly in rural areas.
 

Japan's Remarkable Job Creation Defies Demographics

The number of people working in Japan has increased sharply since 2012, a remarkable achievement as the country's working-age population fell over the same period, says Fitch Ratings. The number of people working rose to a new high of more than 66.6 million in 2Q18, exceeding the previous record in 1997, while the working-age population decreased by more than 11 million since 1997.

Vietnam Banks Showing Improving Trends but Challenges Remain

Fitch Ratings expects its rated Vietnamese banks to sustain their improving operating trends in 2H18, on the heels of better credit quality and profitability, and broadly stable funding and liquidity in 1H18. We expect these banks to continue to capitalise on their higher earnings and the strong economy to reduce legacy bad debt exposures. 

China's Railway Push Relies on Local Government Funding

China's railway investment is set to speed up in 2H18 as part of efforts to support economic growth, with much of the funding borne by local government-related entities (LGREs). However, the railway drive will be much smaller than in previous easing cycles, with the fiscal capacity and leverage of local governments and their financing vehicles likely to be a more significant consideration in project selection than in the past.

Market Pressures to Arrest Positive Indonesia Bank Trends

Currency depreciation and higher domestic interest rates are likely to halt the recent improvement in Indonesian banks' asset quality and put downward pressure on profitability. However, their margins are likely to remain strong which, together with high core capital ratios, will act as a buffer against the impact of market turbulence.

Japan Banks' Profit Pressure May Spill Into Conduct Risks

The sustained squeeze on Japanese banks' interest margins over the last decade from intense competition and low policy rates continues to pressure banks to explore new revenue sources, including expanding the fee and commission business and increasing lending to higher-risk sectors or through more innovative structures, says Fitch Ratings.

Philippine Bank Credit Profiles Steady as Rates Rise

Philippine banks should maintain generally stable credit fundamentals amid rising domestic interest rates and choppier market conditions. Higher lending yields should bode well for interest incomes, and we expect any softening in loan growth and credit quality to be modest as economic fundamentals remain supportive.
 

GSC 2018

Video: Korean Peninsular Tension

Thomas Rookmaaker, Director of Sovereigns, comments on South Korea’s rating in light of tension with North Korea. He is speaking with Stephen Schwartz, Head of APAC Sovereigns.

GSC 2018

Video: How are The Philippines and Vietnam faring?

The Philippines and Vietnam are star performers in Asia. Sagarika Chandra, Associate Director of Sovereigns, provides insights on the two economies at the Global Sovereign Conference in Hong Kong.

Global Trade Tensions Add to APAC Bank Challenges

An escalation in global trade tensions could weaken the operating environment for banks in APAC by reducing demand for export finance, adding to credit risks for affected companies, and dragging on broader economic growth. Most banks are well-positioned to deal with effects that come through these channels, but could be more exposed if trade wars add significantly to market risks against the backdrop of global monetary tightening.

GSC 2018

Video: Hong Kong’s Increasing Links with China

Stephen Schwartz, Head of APAC Sovereigns and Andrew Fennell, Director of Sovereigns, discuss the impact of China links on Hong Kong’s rating at the Global Sovereign Conference in Hong Kong.

GSC 2018

Video: Pakistan’s Economic Roadmap

Jeremy Zook, Associate Director of Sovereigns, discusses the pressing challenges faced by Pakistan in the wake of its election. He is speaking at Fitch’s Global Sovereign Conference in Hong Kong.

Mangkhut to Hit Earnings of Hong Kong Insurers

ong Kong insurers' underwriting profitability will be weakened by Typhoon Mangkhut due to significant claims from extensive and severe damage to commercial and residential properties, business interruption, and motor and general liabilities, says Fitch Ratings. The typhoon, considered the strongest storm on record to strike Hong Kong, swept through the territory on 16 September 2018 and subsequently ripped through Macau and Guangdong province in southern China, causing enormous economic losses and potentially considerable insured losses. 

Korean Insurers to Slow Overseas Investments

South Korean insurers are likely to slow their investments in overseas securities in the near term as the cost of hedging against the US dollar has reduced the attractiveness of their returns, says Fitch Ratings. The agency believes insurers will re-evaluate their asset-allocation strategy amid the hedging burden and are likely to re-focus on local instruments with longer maturity terms or allocate their portfolio to other non-US dollar assets with lower hedging costs.

Chinese Competition to Test APAC Tech Hardware Companies

The technological leadership of longer-established APAC consumer electronics brands over Chinese challengers is likely to narrow in the next few years. Nevertheless, most companies within the agency's APAC technology hardware portfolio have top market positions, sufficient scale and high financial flexibility, which will provide a buffer against rising competitive pressure and fast-evolving technology in the consumer technology sector. 

Less Severe Near-Term Gas Shortage in China

A natural gas supply-demand imbalance will likely re-emerge in China's heating season that is approaching in two months, but will probably be less severe than last year's, which was driven by high demand during the winter peak season when the supply capability was not ready, because city-gas operators and national oil companies are securing winter gas volumes earlier.

Continued Growth for China Securitisation Markets

The total issuance of bonds from securitisations in China's two main trading markets is on track to rise beyond 2017 volumes after increasing in 1H18 from a year earlier. The 1H18 issuance in the China Interbank Bond Market (CIBM) and the China Stock Exchange Markets (CSEM) was equivalent to 46% of the full-year amount in 2017 and issuance in the second half of the year is typically higher than the first. 

China's Non-Bank Consumer Lenders Face Challenges and Regulatory Risks

The exuberant growth of China's non-bank consumer lending - including consumer finance, micro-credit companies, peer-to-peer platforms and on-line finance companies - over 2015-2017 has raised the risks to social and financial stability, and created potential contagion risks for the system. We estimate the total size of non-bank consumer loans has doubled since end-2015 to around CNY3 trillion (around USD430 billion) by end-1H18 - equivalent to 2% of banking system loans.

China Auto-ABS Performance Remains Steady; Sector Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings believes the performance of Auto ABS in China is stable despite Fitch's China Auto ABS Index showing a marginally higher annualised gross loss (AGL) and marginally higher monthly delinquency ratios compared with March 2018. The minor deterioration is the result of a smaller outstanding balance of transactions rather than deteriorating sector performance. The issuance of new transactions has been slow in 2018, which has resulted in more securitised auto loans being repaid than have been newly securitised. 

Mongolia Banks Recovering Post-AQR but Loan Growth a Risk

Most large Mongolian banks have undertaken additional provisioning in response to an asset-quality review (AQR) concluded earlier this year, which is likely to pave the way for a pick-up in profitability and faster growth. However, the AQR highlighted weak capital, with some banks close to the regulatory minimum, while weaknesses in the regulatory environment and lending standards will continue to pose medium-term risks as banks refocus on expansion.

Japan's Non-Life Insurers Likely to Cut Earnings View on Typhoon Jebi

Typhoon Jebi, which is reportedly the strongest typhoon to have made landfall in Japan in 25 years, will not undermine the financial soundness of Japanese non-life insurance groups, given their appropriate catastrophe risk management and strong capital buffers. However, Fitch believes the non-life insurance groups may revise down their earnings forecasts for the fiscal year ending March 2019 (FYE19) due to high catastrophe losses from the storm. 
 

APAC Sovereign Credit Overview

APAC Sovereigns Face Rising External Challenges

The external environment facing Asia-Pacific economies is becoming more difficult, but is unlikely as yet to have a significant impact on sovereign credit profiles. Rising US interest rates and increasing global risk aversion towards emerging-market assets are generating capital outflows and exerting downward pressure on most Asian currencies, particularly the Indonesian rupiah and Indian rupee. Trade tensions between the US and China have added to market jitters and pose downside risks to growth. 

Vietnam Banks Have Large Capital Needs Ahead of Basel II

The Vietnamese banking system could face a capital shortfall of almost USD20 billion (9% of GDP) to meet Basel II implementation, scheduled for 1 January 2020, and to increase allowance coverage to a level that reflects underlying asset-quality problems. Banks are likely to step up capital issuance over the next 18 months, which could improve the credit profiles of rated banks if it results in a meaningful and sustained increase in capitalisation.
 

Korea's Budget May Add to Long-Term Fiscal Challenges

South Korea's (AA-/Stable) public finances can accommodate the short-term fiscal easing announced in the budget for 2019 last week, and the increase in spending may help to stimulate sluggish job creation. However, a further widening of the deficit out to 2022, as is now projected by the government, could put the government in a weaker position to address the long-term fiscal challenges posed by population ageing.

Exclusive Interview: Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Stephen Schwartz, Head of Asia-Pacific Sovereigns, speaks with Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance. Areas of discussion included the outlook for Indonesia’s economy, fiscal policies, and the implications of political elections and global monetary policy on the country.

Exclusive Interview with Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III

Stephen Schwartz, Head of APAC Sovereigns, spoke with Carlos Dominguez III, Philippines' Finance Secretary, in a pre-recorded interview in Manila on 16th August 2018. Topics included the impact of global monetary tightening and trade tensions on the Philippines’ economy, overheating risks, tax reform and fiscal policy, and the implications of President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership style on foreign investment flows. An excerpt of the interview will be telecast at Fitch Ratings’ Global Sovereign Conferences in Hong Kong (11th September 2018) and Singapore (13th September). Chaptered by topic.

Global Trade Tensions Add to APAC Bank Challenges

An escalation in global trade tensions could weaken the operating environment for banks in APAC by reducing demand for export finance, adding to credit risks for affected companies, and dragging on broader economic growth.

China's Policy Easing to Stop Short of Credit Stimulus

China's recent measures to support the economy mark a shift in the policy stance towards easing and away from the previous singular focus on addressing financial risks, says Fitch Ratings. Easing is likely to stop short of the type of credit stimulus that could add significantly to economic imbalances, but this remains a risk that could have negative implications for the sovereign rating.
 

Rating Action

Fitch Rates Asahi Life's Subordinated Bonds 'BB(EXP)'

Fitch Ratings has assigned Asahi Mutual Life Insurance Company's (Asahi Life; Insurer Financial Strength: BBB-(Good)/Stable) proposed US dollar step-up callable cumulative perpetual subordinated bonds with interest-deferral options an expected rating of 'BB(EXP)'. The issuance ranks pari passu with Asahi Life's outstanding Fitch-rated US dollar subordinated bonds and is rated at the same level as the outstanding bonds. 

Rating Action

Fitch Revises Outlooks on Queensland, QTC to Stable; Affirms at 'AA'

Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlooks on the Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of Australia's State of Queensland (Queensland) and Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) to Stable from Positive. We have affirmed both entities' Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs at 'AA' and the Foreign- and Local-Currency Short-Term IDRs at 'F1+'. 

Record High Household Debt Prompts Further Korean Mortgage Regulation

Korean Household debt rising to an all-time high of 97.5% against GDP has prompted further regulation by South Korea's Financial Services Commission (FSC), which has rolled out new lending guidance to the commercial and savings banks on debt-servicing ratio (DSR) measures for residential mortgage loan origination. 

Rating Action

Fitch Assigns First-Time 'A-' Rating to Mirvac

Fitch Ratings has assigned Mirvac Group (Mirvac), which comprises Mirvac Limited, Mirvac Property Trust and Mirvac Group Finance Limited, a Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'A-'. The Outlook is Stable. Fitch has also assigned a senior unsecured rating of 'A-' to all senior unsecured debt issued or guaranteed by Mirvac, including debt issued by Mirvac Group Finance.

Negligible Rating Impact From Australia Leadership Change

The change in Australia's prime minister is unlikely to have a near-term credit impact for the sovereign, and there is no indication so far that the frequent leadership changes in recent years have undermined economic growth or the trajectory of public finances. Repeated bouts of political turmoil could, nevertheless, eventually weigh on business confidence, policy continuity, and the ability of the government to advance policy proposals that address medium-term challenges.

Indonesia Import Limits to Have Minimal Impact on Toll-Road Construction

The Indonesian government's recent announcement on its plans to curb the rapid rise of imports including potentially delaying the construction of infrastructure projects that have a high import content may cause project completion or new contract growth to slow. However, the agency believes contractors with large exposure to toll-road projects will be less affected as their use of imported construction materials is minimal.

India Sovereign Credit Risk from Rupee Decline Is Limited

A recent sharp sell-off in the rupee illustrates India's sensitivity to shifts in market sentiment towards emerging markets, and suggests there could be further bouts of pressure as global monetary tightening progresses. However, the impact of currency weakness on India's sovereign credit profile is likely to be limited by relatively strong external finances, especially the low level of external debt. Currency depreciation could nevertheless add to existing pressures in the corporate and banking sectors.

What Investors Want to Know: China Homebuilders

Fitch Ratings has published a report on China homebuilders, presenting our views as to how China's policy direction and tight credit environment are affecting the credit quality of homebuilders and their ability to fund; how homebuilders' strategies have evolved as the result of government policies; and how far-reaching are the policies affecting the housing market across different city tiers.

Scaled Down Resettlement to Drag on Chinese Housing Sales

Monetised resettlement of shanty-town residents has been an important driver of Chinese housing demand in recent years, particularly in lower-tier cities, but is likely to have peaked in 2017. The scaling-back of the programme will create a drag on housing sales growth over the rest of this year and in 2019, which is likely to be only partially offset by a marginal easing of credit conditions. 

Rating Action

Fitch Publishes Shanghai Lingang's First-Time 'A-' Rating; Rates USD Bonds

Fitch Ratings has published Shanghai Lingang Economic Development (Group) Co., Ltd's Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings of 'A-'. The Outlook is Stable. Concurrently, Fitch has assigned Shanghai Lingang's proposed US dollar senior unsecured bonds an 'A-(EXP)' rating.

External Finance Risks Constrain New Pakistan Government

Pakistan's incoming PTI-led coalition government, which took office this week, will be under immediate pressure to arrest the deterioration in external finances and address fiscal challenges, as well as to attract the external funding necessary to meet its financing gap. The new government has more political capital to take positive though difficult policy actions, but it has a thin majority in parliament and faces a strong opposition, which could complicate policymaking. 

Japanese Non-Life Premium Hike Won't Offset Headwinds

Japanese non-life insurers appear likely to raise premiums on their fire business from 2019, but the additional revenue is unlikely to offset the negative impact on profitability of the consumption tax hike scheduled for October 2019 and a cut in the statutory interest rate in April 2020, says Fitch Ratings. We expect these headwinds to push up the average combined ratio of large insurers by around 2 percentage points. 
 

Rating Action

Malaysia Affirmed at 'A-'; Outlook Stable

Malaysia's Long-Term IDRs are supported by solid economic growth and a net external creditor position built up from a record of current-account surpluses. These strengths are offset by elevated government and private sector debt, and low per capita income and World Bank governance scores relative to rating peers. 

Dai-ichi Boosts Leading Position in Australian Life with Suncorp Life

Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. (the parent of The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited (Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating: A+/Stable)) has strengthened its top-two position in Australia's life insurance market with a deal to acquire 100% of Suncorp Life & Superannuation Ltd (SLSL) via TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia Pty Ltd (TAL, Dai-ichi Life Holdings' wholly owned Australian subsidiary). Dai-ichi Life Holdings announced on 9 August that it has signed a non-binding heads-of-agreement with Suncorp Group Limited (IDR: A+/Stable).

Rating Action

Fitch Upgrades Sony Corporation to Investment Grade of 'BBB-'

Sony has improved its operating stability by expanding its recurring revenue base, especially in gaming segments, and downsizing the volatile consumer-electronics business. The growth in its operating cash flows should also provide the company with the financial flexibility to further reduce debt.

Capital Woes Continue for Indian Banks

Fitch Ratings' outlook on the Indian banks sector is likely to remain negative until the banks address their weak core capital positions against mounting bad debt and poor financial performance.

Korea Non-Life Insurers to Shore up Solvency Capital

Fitch Ratings expects South Korean non-life insurers to increasingly rely on issuing hybrid securities, subordinated debt or fresh equity to strengthen their solvency adequacy, given progressive tightening in local statutory risk-based capital measures and upward movement in interest.

Chinese Corporates Face Offshore Issuance Challenges

Offshore bond issuance by Chinese corporates has dropped sharply in recent months as a rise in defaults and the trade tensions with the US have undermined investor sentiment towards some Chinese issuers. The authorities' recent steps to alleviate some of the tightness in onshore credit conditions could help ease investor concerns over default risks, but access to the offshore market is still likely to be limited to stronger, established issuers during the rest of 2018.

CBA Results Highlight Pressure Points for Australian Banks

Fitch Ratings says the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA; AA-/Negative/aa-) full-year results to 30 June 2018 (FY18) broadly support the agency's expectation that earnings pressure would emerge for Australian banks during 2018. An increase in wholesale funding costs led to a reduction in CBA's net interest margin in 2H18, loan growth continued to slow and continued investment into the business and compliance contributed to higher expenses.

RTHK Radio 3

Jeremy Zook Discusses Pakistan's Economic Outlook

Jeremy Zook, Associate Director of APAC Sovereigns, talks about Pakistan's economic policies and challenges after election of Imran Khan on Money Talk, RTHK Radio 3.

Revised Trade Regulations and US-China Trade War May Hit Indonesia Tyre Manufacturers

The US-China Trade War, together with the revised import provisions announced in February 2018, are likely to intensify competition in Indonesia's tyre sector, affecting local manufacturers.. The Ministry of Trade's regulation No. 6/2018 eased the procedure for imports of tyres, with the impact already visible. Competition will intensify further as a result of the trade war between China and the US.

Rating Action

Fitch Rates JD.com's Beijing Jingdong ABS Notes

Fitch Ratings has assigned a final rating to Beijing Jingdong Century Trade Co., Ltd. 2018 Asset-Backed Notes Series 1's (JD ABN 2018-1) fixed-rate class A notes. The notes are backed by a pool of unsecured consumer credit receivables (Baitiao) originated by Beijing Jingdong Century Trade Co., Ltd. (Jingdong Century), a Chinese e-commerce company. This is Fitch's first assignment of ratings for a securitisation of unsecured consumer receivables generated on an online platform in China. Listen to the Teleconference Replay.

Video Roundtable

Asia-Pacific Banks’ Key Challenges

Kevin Duignan, Global Head of Financial Institutions hosts a roundtable discussion on APAC banks’ risks and opportunities – a key theme from Fitch’s Global Banking Conference in Hong Kong. He is joined by Jonathan Cornish, Head of APAC Banks; Sabine Bauer, Head of Hong Kong and Japan Banks and Grace Wu, Head of China Banks.

Fitch Solutions

Fitch Solutions Launches Macro Intelligence Solutions as part of Strategic Growth Plan

As part of its strategic growth plan, Fitch Solutions announced the launch of its Macro Intelligence Solutions which integrates BMI Research into the Fitch Solutions content suite and combines Fitch Ratings credit insights with BMI expertise, providing clients with one authoritative voice for credit and macro intelligence.  

Safety Scandals Highlight Risks For Chinese Drug Makers

A recent string of drug safety scandals involving listed and leading domestic manufacturers highlights the high business risks facing Chinese pharmaceutical companies. Concentration on low-quality generic drugs, high product concentration and heightened regulatory risks will continue to constrain most Chinese drug makers' business profiles to non-investment grade levels.

Virtual Investor Series

China Structured Finance – The Impact of Growing Household Debt

Our Structured Finance Virtual Investor Meeting series gives you the same insights and perspective you’d get at one of our in-person meetings.

 

Latest VideoChina Structured Finance – The Impact of Growing Household Debt

Investors Positive on Vietnam But See Protectionism Risks

Almost 80% of attendees at the "Fitch on Vietnam" conference held in Hanoi in mid-June felt that now was the time to increase exposure to Vietnam, while 87% felt that the economy would either continue its strong recent performance or accelerate this year. External risks were seen as the biggest threat to this upbeat outlook, with trade protectionism cited by almost half of the attendees and US interest-rate rises by 27%.

Fitch on SOEs

2018 Fitch on SOEs- Impact of New Methodology across Sectors and Regions

Ying Wang, Head of APAC Energy & Utilities and Lucas Aristizabal, Head of LatAm Oil & Gas, discuss SOE standalone credit profiles and ratings relative to the sovereign in each region and explain how the range of scores differs across sectors in Asia and LatAm.

Fitch Group Appoints Chairman for Asia Pacific

Fitch Group today announced it has appointed Bernard de Lattre as Chairman, Asia Pacific. In this new non-executive role, Mr. de Lattre will work closely with the management team of Fitch Ratings in particular to implement the firm's strategic growth plans in Asia. His appointment is effective immediately.

Fitch Named Best Islamic Finance Rating Agency for Second Year

Fitch Ratings has been recognised as the Best Rating Agency for Islamic Finance for the second consecutive year by The Asset, a leading financial magazine in the Asia-Pacific region.

Fitch Named Best High Yield, Sovereigns and Public Finance Rating Agency

Fitch Ratings has been recognised as the best credit rating agency in 2017 for high yield, sovereigns, and public finance by The Asset, a Hong Kong-based magazine covering Asia's financial industry since 1999. It is the agency's first wins for the high yield and sovereigns categories, and the third accolade in a row for public finance.

Contacts

Sing Chan Ng

APAC

Sing Chan Ng

Business Inquiries

+65 6796 7210

Stephen Schwartz

Sovereigns

Stephen Schwartz

Analytical

+852 2263 9938

Buddhika Piyasena

Corporates

Buddhika Piyasena

Analytical

+65 6796 7223

Jonathan Cornish

Financial Institutions

Jonathan Cornish

Analytical

+852 2263 9901

Terry Gao

International Public Finance

Terry Gao

Analytical

+852 2263 9972

Sajal Kishore

Global Infrastructure Group

Sajal Kishore

Analytical

+65 6796 7095

Jeff Liew

Insurance

Jeff Liew

Analytical

+852 2263 9939

Ben McCarthy

Structured Finance

Ben McCarthy

Analytical

+61 2 8256 0388

Bashar Al Natoor

Islamic Finance

Bashar Al Natoor

Analytical Group Head

+971 4424 1242