16 April 2005
FITCH AFFIRMS HSBC BANK MIDDLE EAST LIMITED’S LONG-TERM
RATING OF ‘A+’
Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, has today affirmed HSBC Bank Middle East
Limited’s (“HBME”) Long-term rating of ‘A+’, Short-term ‘F1’, Individual ‘B’ and Support
‘1’. The Long-term rating Outlook is Stable.
HBME’s Long-term, Short-term and Support ratings reflect the extremely high probability
that the bank would be supported by its parent HSBC Holdings plc should the need arise. Its
Individual rating reflects the strength of its regional franchise, its consistent profitability,
satisfactory asset quality and capital adequacy, and comfortable liquidity. The bank also
benefits from the treasury and risk management systems and expertise of the HSBC Group.
The Individual rating also takes into account the bank’s reliance on the relatively small UAE
market for a large proportion of its profits.
HBME has a wide regional presence with branches in UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan,
Lebanon, and the Palestinian Autonomous Area, an off-shore banking unit in Bahrain and a
representative office in Iran. HBME provides personal financial services, commercial
banking, investment banking , and treasury services. The bank’s head office is in Jersey,
Channel Islands while operational control is exercised through a management office in
Dubai. HBME and its predecessors have a long history of operations in the region, dating
back to the late 19th century. 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 HSBC
Media eqnuiries to Steve Martin, Regional Manager Corporate Affairs, HSBC Bank
Middle East Limited, tel +9714 390 6631, mobile +9715 0 4564854.
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FITCH Affirms HSBC Bank Middle East Limited’s Long Term Rating of ‘A+’/2
Notes to Editors
1. HSBC Bank Middle East Limited
HSBC Bank Middle East is the largest and most widely represented international bank in the Middle East with
29 branches throughout the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, and the
Palestinian Autonomous Area including an offshore banking unit in Bahrain. This extensive regional coverage
is strengthened by another member of the HSBC Group, HSBC Bank Egypt, and by its associate companies,
The Saudi British Bank and the British Arab Commercial Bank. In addition to its Middle Eastern network, the
Bank has a representative office in Tehran, Iran.
2. HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Bank Middle East Limited has been a principal member of the HSBC Group since 1959. Serving over
110 million customers worldwide, the HSBC Group has approximately 9,800 offices in 77 countries and
territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of
US$1,277 billion at 31 December 2004, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services
organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ‘the world’s local bank’.