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Fri 12 Nov 2010 04:17 PM

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S&P assigns A+ rating to QNB Finance $1.5bn notes

Notes are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Qatar National Bank

S&P assigns A+ rating to QNB Finance $1.5bn notes
There is a high likelihood that the government of Qatar would provide extraordinary support to QNB should the need arise

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it has assigned its 'A+' long-term senior unsecured debt rating to the five year $1.5 billion 3.125% notes issued by QNB Finance Ltd.

The notes mature on November 16, 2015, and are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Qatar National Bank(QNB; A+/Stable/A-1), the largest commercial bank by assets in the State of Qatar (AA/Stable/A-1+), with $53.5 billion on September 30, 2010.

The rating on the notes is equalized with the counterparty credit rating on QNB, reflecting our view that the notes will rank pari passu with the bank's other senior unsecured debt.

The ratings on QNB reflect our opinion of its high systemic importance and 50% ownership by the State of Qatar, as well as its good financial profile. These positive factors are somewhat offset by the moderate deterioration of QNB's asset quality indicators and geographic expansion in some countries that are riskier than its core market of Qatar.

The long-term counterparty credit rating on QNB is two notches higher than our assessment of its stand-alone credit profile, given its ownership structure and high systemic importance. In our opinion, there is a high likelihood that the government of Qatar would provide extraordinary support to QNB should the need arise.(Reuters)

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