Fitch assigns 'A' rating to HSBC Bank Middle East

Published May 3rd, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Fitch Ratings has assigned the following ratings to HSBC Bank Middle East (HBME): Long Term 'A', Short Term 'F1', Individual 'B' and Support '3'. The rating outlook is stable, according to a press release issued by the international rating agency.  


The ratings reflect the strength of HBME's regional franchise, the support of its parent HSBC Group, and its consistent profitability, satisfactory asset quality and sound liquidity.  


They also consider the bank's reliance on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) market for the majority of its profits as well as increasing pressure on costs. HBME's performance has been stable over time as it remains the leading international bank in the region, attracting a significant market share of business from multinationals, top/middle tier local companies and expatriates in the region.  


HBME has a wide regional presence (Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Palestinian Autonomous Area, Qatar, UAE), providing personal financial services, commercial and corporate/institutional banking services. The bank's head office is in Jersey, while operational control is exercised through a Middle East Management office in Dubai.  


HBME has a long history of operations in the region and traces its origins to the Imperial Bank of Persia, set up in 1889. In 1959 HSBC acquired the then British Bank of the Middle East and changed its name to HBME in 1999 as part of a global re-branding of the group.  


HBME is ultimately owned by HSBC Holdings Plc, the holding company for the HSBC Group. — ( 

© 2003 Mena Report (

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