Credit raters circle wagons around banks

Original article by James Eyers, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 10-Oct-19

Australia’s banks are under growing scrutiny over their failure to reduce their mortgage interest rates by 0.25 per cent in line with the latest official interest rate cut. However, S&P Global Ratings says banks’ profits and capital buffers may be adversely affected if they yield to political pressure and match the Reserve Bank’s rate cut. S&P adds that this could in turn prompt a review of the banking sector’s credit rating. Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are also supportive of the banks’ decision to withhold part of the official interest rate cut.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, FITCH RATINGS LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, COPLEY FUND RESEARCH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

S&P gives AMP thumbs down over bad news

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 28-Aug-19

The credit rating of wealth manager AMP has been downgraded from ‘A-‘ to ‘BBB+’ by S&P Global Ratings. The long-term issuer credit rating of AMP Bank and AMP Life have also been downgraded by one notch apiece. S&P has indicated that the ratings downgrade was primarily due to the recent deal to sell AMP Life to Resolution Life, which will have an impact on AMP’s group credit profile. S&P also said it may review AMP’s credit rating if the deal does not proceed, although this may not result in an upgrade.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, AMP BANK LIMITED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED

AMP’s credit ratings still at risk after stalled life sale

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro, James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 17-Jul-19

S&P Global has advised that AMP’s credit rating will remain on negative watch after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand imposed conditions on the sale of its life insurance business. Nicholas Yap of Nomura believes that AMP is likely to face a credit ratings downgrade at some point, citing factors such as a reduction in the value of its life business and a class action lawsuit over excessive superannuation fees. AMP shares fell 1.6 per cent to $1.78 on 16 July.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, NOMURA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

S&P upgrades outlook for big four banks

Original article by Tim Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 11-Jul-19

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s move to scale back its capital requirements for the banking sector has prompted S&P Global Ratings to upgrade its outlook for the nation’s four major banks from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’. The credit ratings agency has also upgraded Macquarie Bank’s outlook from ‘developing’ to ‘positive’. Meanwhile, S&P has indicated that a sharp correction in residential property prices is the biggest risk factor for Australian banks.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, MACQUARIE BANK LIMITED – ASX MBL, BELL POTTER SECURITIES LIMITED

Stick to surplus to keep AAA

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 9-Jul-19

S&P Global Ratings upgraded Australia’s credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ in September 2018. S&P’s Anthony Walker says the federal government must retain its target of returning the Budget to surplus in 2019-20 in order to retain its triple-A credit rating. He has stressed the need for the government to have a strong public balance sheet so it can respond with fiscal stimulus if there is an external shock to the economy in the future. Martin Petch of Moody’s Investors Service in turn says the Australian economy will be boosted by factors such as the government’s income tax cuts, official interest rate cuts and spending on infrastructure.

CORPORATES
S&P GLOBAL RATINGS, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, HSBC AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD

S&P cuts AMP rating, more action to come

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 5-Mar-19

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded AMP’s credit rating from ‘A’ to ‘A-‘ in the wake of the wealth manager’s decision to sell its life insurance arm. S&P has flagged the potential for a further downgrade once the sale is completed, noting that the deal will affect AMP’s creditworthiness. Rival ratings agency Moody’s Investor Services recently downgraded the credit rating of AMP Life after it posted a 2018 operating loss of $176m.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMP LIFE LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, AMP BANK LIMITED, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Rio debt upgrade as iron ore rises

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 8-Feb-19

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded its rating on Rio Tinto’s debt from A3 to A2. The credit ratings agency has noted that Rio Tinto is better-placed to ride out periods of increased volatility in commodity prices as a result of its debt reduction strategy. The resources giant has slashed its debt from US28.5bn in 2013 to just $US12.5bn. Meanwhile, the iron ore price has risen to almost $US90 per tonne in the wake of the latest tailings dam disaster in Brazil, and some analysts say it could test $US100.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, VALE SA

BHP oil division stymies S&P upgrade

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 14-Mar-18

BHP Billiton has reduced its net debt by US10.5bn ($A13.3bn) since Standard & Poor’s downgraded its credit rating from "A+" to "A" in 2016. Although S&P has since upgraded BHP’s outlook from "negative" to "stable", analyst Elad Jelasko says a decline in BHP’s portfolio diversification has contributed to the lack of a credit rating upgrade. He notes that the downturn in earnings from BHP’s petroleum division has helped to offset the positive impact of the reduction in net debt. Jelasko adds that the proposed sale of BHP’s US shale assets is unlikely to affect its credit rating.

CORPORATES
BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, STANDARD AND POOR’S FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, SAMARCO MINERACAO SA

Stocks fall on banks’ failure to alter levy

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 23 : 21-Jun-17

Shares in Australia’s four major banks and Macquarie Group were sold down on 21 June, in response to the passage of the Federal Government’s bank levy through Parliament and credit ratings downgrades by Moody’s. The Senate economics legislation committee made a number of recommendations concerning the levy, based on the suggestions of the five banks that will pay it, but they were rejected by the Government. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank does not expect banks’ funding costs to be affected by the ratings downgrades.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. SENATE ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITEE, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Moody’s trims bank ratings on rising debt

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 21 : 20-Jun-17

Moody’s has lowered its credit ratings for Australia’s four major banks, along with eight other smaller banks. Among the smaller banks to have their ratings downgraded are Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, ME Bank, Heritage Bank and Credit Union Australia. Francesco Mirenzi of Moody’s said the downgrades were prompted by concerns over high household debt and the possibility of a correction in the housing market.

CORPORATES
MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, MEMBERS EQUITY BANK PTY LTD, HERITAGE BANK LIMITED – ASX HBS, CREDIT UNION AUSTRALIA LIMITED, STANDARD AND POOR’S (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, BANK OF QUEENSLAND LIMITED – ASX BOQ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NEWCASTLE PERMANENT BUILDING SOCIETY LIMITED, TEACHERS MUTUAL BANK LIMITED, QT MUTUAL, TEACHERS MUTUAL VICTORIA