The credit rating of “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC (hereinafter, Sovcombank Leasing or the Company) has been upgraded due to ACRA’s rating action with regard to the credit rating of the parent bank (hereinafter, the Supporting Entity, SE, or the Group). In addition, the Agency expects that over the next 12 to 18 months, the level of support from the SE will remain very high, which, when coupled with the strong business profitability, will mitigate the risks of the Company’s rapid growth strategy.

Sovcombank Leasing’s standalone creditworthiness assessment (SCA) has been determined taking into account the adequate business profile, strong risk profile, moderately strong capital adequacy, as well as the satisfactory funding and liquidity position.

key assessment FACTORS

Very high level of support from the Group. ACRA believes that in case of an emergency, the Supporting Entity is willing and able to promptly provide the Company with both short-term and long-term financing, as well as inject capital. ACRA’s expectations are backed up by the history of interaction between the SE and the Company, as well as examples of regular support from the SE. In particular, the Agency took the following into account:

  • Full strategic control exercised by the SE and strong legal and operational ties between the SE and the Company;

  • Development of the Company’s activities is part of the Group’s strategy concerning auto lending and leasing; the Company regularly receives financing from the SE (86% of liabilities as of the start of 2024), as well as capital injections to support regular operations (RUB 0.6 bln in 2021, RUB 1 bln in 2022, and RUB 0.5 bln in 2023);

  • As the Company operates under a similar brand as the SE, the insolvency of Sovcombank Leasing would, in ACRA’s opinion, be associated with the SE, which would in turn be subject to serious reputational damage;

  • The fact that some of the SE’s securities indicate conditions for their early repayment, default or bankruptcy of the Supporting Entity in the event of a default by the Company.

Adequate business profile assessment. Sovcombank Leasing occupies relatively stable positions in the group of medium-sized leasing companies that focus on financial leasing of vehicles, mainly in the cargo segment. Business stability is evidenced by consistently high profitability, even in times of crisis. ACRA has improved the assessment of the Business Stability sub-factor of the business profile, taking into account the Company’s ability to operate as a dynamically developing business with a rather strong growth appetite. The Company’s lease portfolio almost doubled in 2023, however, its structure by type of leased items was generally similar to the structure of the portfolio in 2022. The main share falls on commercial cargo and passenger vehicles (approximately 74% of the portfolio as of December 31, 2023), while road construction equipment accounts for 17% of the portfolio. The low concentration of the lease portfolio on individual clients also contributes to the sustainability of performance indicators. The largest group of lessees accounts for 2% of the portfolio, while the 10 largest account for 12%.

In ACRA’s opinion, the presence of the Supporting Entity remains a serious competitive advantage of Sovcombank Leasing. In addition, regular support from the SE, as well as the possibility of obtaining emergency assistance if necessary, will continue to somewhat mitigate the potential negative consequences of the relatively rapid, in the Agency’s opinion, growth of the Company’s business.

Capital adequacy is assessed as moderately strong. Thanks to high profitability and regular external support in the form of capital, the Company is able to maintain its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) at a rather high level. However, the considerable growth of the lease portfolio in 2023 resulted in this indicator falling — as of the end of 2023, the CAR had declined to 11.6% from 16.7% as of December 31, 2022. The value of the averaged capital generation ratio (ACGR) for the past five years was 340 bps. ACRA expects the CAR to remain at the current relatively comfortable level of no lower than 11–15% over the next 12 to 18 months. The refusal to pay dividends over the next 12 to 18 months will continue to support the Company’s ability to independently ensure that capital is sufficient for business growth (a significant part of the Company’s annual revenues were used to pay dividends prior to 2020).

Strong risk profile. According to ACRA’s estimates, the share of potential problem and non-performing lease assets, which, in addition to the current potential problem lessees, also includes the amounts of terminated lease contracts and the book value of seized/returned lease assets, amounted to around 2–4% of the Company’s total lease assets as of the beginning of 2024.

The Agency notes that this share will continue to be somewhat diluted by the Company’s plans to grow the portfolio. The potential negative impact of the materialization of credit risks is somewhat mitigated by the presence of highly liquid collateral and effective recovery procedures.

Satisfactory funding and liquidity position. Bank loans continue to crowd out bond funding and have already become the main source of finance, accounting for about 86% of liabilities at the beginning of the year. Bank funding is represented by funds of the Supporting Entity that is loyal to Sovcombank Leasing.

The Company’s liquidity management policy reflects the specifics of its business, which, due to the high liquidity of leased equipment and firm ties with the SE, does not involve maintaining a significant cushion of highly liquid assets on the balance sheet. As a result, the current liquidity ratio under the Agency’s base case scenario for the next 12 months is 1.0x. This approach is based on the possibility of a rapid decline in lease sales and quick receipt of additional liquidity from the SE if needed. These factors, when combined, largely mitigate the moderate liquidity deficit in the event of a stress scenario (assuming a decrease in cash flows from lessees by 20%).

KEY ASSUMPTIONS

  • Maintaining the Company’s current business model and ability to receive extraordinary support from the SE over the 12 to 18-month horizon.

POTENTIAL OUTLOOK OR RATING CHANGE FACTORS

The Stable outlook assumes that the rating will highly likely stay unchanged within the 12 to 18-month horizon.

A positive rating action may be prompted by:

  • Higher creditworthiness of the SE and/or signs of a closer relationship with it.

A negative rating action may be prompted by:

  • Lower propensity of the SE to support the Company or lower creditworthiness of the SE.

RATING COMPONENTS

SCA: bbb+.

Adjustments: none.

Support: creditworthiness assessment of the SE minus one notch.

issue ratings

No outstanding issues have been rated.

regulatory disclosure

The credit rating of “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC has been assigned under the national scale for the Russian Federation based on the Methodology for Assigning Credit Ratings to Leasing Companies under the National Scale for the Russian Federation, Methodology for Analyzing Rated Entities Associated with a State or a Group, and the Key Concepts Used by the Analytical Credit Rating Agency Within the Scope of Its Rating Activities.

The credit rating of “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC was published by ACRA for the first time on December 27, 2017. The credit rating and its outlook are expected to be revised within one year following the publication date of this press release.

The credit rating was assigned based on data provided by “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC, information from publicly available sources, and ACRA’s own databases. The rating analysis was performed using the IFRS consolidated financial statements of “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC and the RAS financial statements of “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC. The credit rating is solicited and “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC participated in its assignment.

In assigning the credit rating, ACRA used only information, the quality and reliability of which were, in ACRA’s opinion, appropriate and sufficient to apply the methodologies.

ACRA provided no additional services to “Sovcombank Leasing”, LLC. No conflicts of interest were discovered in the course of credit rating assignment.

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