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SAFRA REPUBLIC HOLDINGS' SENIOR DEBT RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Safra Republic Holdings S.A.'s senior debt is rated "AA" by Fitch. The credit trend is stable.
 The rating is issued in conjunction with a proposed issue of $150 million floating rate notes due Sept. 22, 1998, expected to close tomorrow in London. The offering will take the form of a fiduciary issue to be sold by Chase Manhattan Bank Luxembourg, S.A.
 Proceeds will be used by the fiduciary to fund a loan to Safra Republic. The fiduciary's obligations under the notes are conditional upon the performance by Safra Republic of its obligations, which correspond in substance to the related terms of the loan agreement between Safra and the fiduciary. Thus, Safra's senior debt credit rating is the determining factor in the "AA" rating assigned to these notes.
 This initial rating for the Luxembourg-based bank holding company reflects the successful implementation of Safra Republic's primary business strategy, which begins with capital, then adds personnel, and finally revenue sources, but only after the first two are in place.
 This has generated extraordinarily high risk based capital, resulting in well above peer average ratios. The experience and banking acumen of Safra Republic's senior managers is well documented. The profile of the balance sheet is one of low credit risk, enhanced by the fine tuning of underwriting standards directed to a modest level of loans. There is a growing level of core profitability, flowing from the all important sophistication of developing and maintaining private banking deposit relationships.
 Although the company's 1988 formation is relatively recent, it began operations with nearly $1 billion in equity capital and a history of private banking relationships that flows from the senior personnel of its predecessor units. The dominant shareholder, Edmond J. Safra, has extensive currency within the principal private banking centers of Europe as well as important depository relationships in many sectors of the globe.
 Although Safra Republic Holdings and its banks are foreign entities, the ownership structure of Safra Republic results in its principal regulators being The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Comptroller of the Currency, the overseer of domestic national banks. Having these two U.S. bank regulatory agencies providing supervision and review provides an important level of comfort for Fitch. In addition, all financials are reported on a U.S. GAAP basis.
 -0- 9/21/93
 /CONTACT: Fred W. DeBussey, 212-908-0521/


CO: Safra Republic Holdings, S.A.; Fitch ST: New York IN: FIN SU:

JB -- LA016 -- 4130 09/21/93 11:39 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 21, 1993
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