Fitch’s Credit Ratings provide an opinion on the relative ability of an entity to meet financial commitments, such as interest, preferred dividends, repayment of principal, insurance claims or counterparty obligations. Credit Ratings are used by investors as indications of the likelihood of receiving their money back, in accordance with the terms on which they invested. Fitch’s Credit Ratings cover the global spectrum of corporate, sovereign (including supra-national and sub-national), financial, bank, insurance, municipal and other public finance entities and the securities or other obligations they issue, as well as structured finance securities backed by receivables or other financial assets.
A short-term debt rating rates an organisation’s general unsecured creditworthiness over the short term (i.e. over a 12 month period). Such a rating provides an indication of the probability of default on any unsecured short term debt obligations, including commercial paper, bank borrowings, BAs and NCDs.
Highest certainty of timely payment. Short-term liquidity, including internal operating factors and/or access to alternative sources of funds is outstanding, and safety is just below that of risk-free treasury bills.
A long-term debt rating rates the probability of default on specific long-term debt instruments, over the life of the issue. It is possible that different issues by a single issuer could be accorded different credit ratings, depending on the underlying characteristics of each issue (e.g. is it a senior or a subordinated debt instrument, is it secured or unsecured and, if secured, what is the nature of the security?)
Very high credit quality. Protection factors are very strong. Adverse changes in business, economic or financial conditions would increase investment risk although not significantly.
A financial institution of very good financial condition and strong capacity to meet its obligations as and when they fall due. Adverse changes in the environment (macroeconomic, political and regulatory) will result in a slight increase in the risk attributable to an exposure to this financial institution. However, financial condition and ability to meet obligations as and when they fall due should remain strong. Although regulatory support is not assured, shareholder support will be obtained, if required.