12 Apr 2010 17:57

Fitch assigns Russia's Sberbank Leasing a 'BBB' rating with stable outlook

LONDON/MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) - Fitch Ratings has today assigned Russia's Sberbank Leasing (SL) a Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BBB' with a Stable Outlook, the rating agency said in a press release.

The Long-term IDR of 'BBB' reflects the support Fitch believes SL is likely to receive, in case of need, from its parent and sole shareholder, the state-owned Sberbank - Savings Bank of the Russian Federation (Sberbank, rated: 'BBB'/Outlook Stable/ F3), the statement says.

SL serves as the leasing arm of Sberbank. The company is highly integrated with Sberbank and is reliant on its funding and infrastructure for support. SL was fully funded by Sberbank at end-2009 and Sberbank will remain a key funding source for SL over the medium-term, while 100% of the end-2009 lease portfolio was approved by Sberbank.

Sberbank Leasing was established in 1993 under its original name, RG Leasing, and since 2005 has been 100%-owned by Sberbank. In November 2009, the company was renamed and rebranded. SL has historically focused on the financial leasing of rolling stock, which accounted for 88% of its portfolio at end-2009. However, its 2010-2014 strategy envisages transformation from a specialized leasing company into a universal one, with the strengthening of its position in the Russian leasing market through an increase in its market share to 30% by 2014 (end-2009: 10%).

The ratings assigned to SL are as follows:

Long-term foreign currency IDR: 'BBB'; Outlook Stable

Long-term local currency IDR: 'BBB'; Outlook Stable

Short-term foreign currency IDR: 'F3'

Support Rating: '2'