According to Fitch, banks in Asia are resilient to risks associated with US bank failures

A sign for the finance agency Fitch Ratings on a building in the Canary Wharf business and shopping district in London, United Kingdom, on Thursday March 1, 2012.

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Banks in Asia Pacific are “risk resilient” as evidenced by defaults in the US banking sector, said Fitch Ratings On Thursday, adding exposure to Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank for regional banks, which the agency covers, is negligible.

“The direct exposures of Fitch-rated banks in APAC to SVB and Signature that we are aware of are not material to the credit profiles,” Fitch said in a statement.

“Weaknesses that contributed to the failure of the two banks are among the factors already factored into our ratings for APAC banks, but these are often offset by structural factors,” Fitch said, adding that the exposures tend to be largest in India and Japan.

Fitch’s assessment of Asia-Pacific banks comes as US Treasury Secretary Yellen said overnight that not all uninsured deposits will be protected in future bank failures.

In general, we consider the valuation risks of securities portfolios for APAC banks to be manageable.

“Government Support”

While Fitch sees significant risk of volatility in digital bank deposits in the region, it noted that Asia-Pacific governments are likely to step in to support their banks when needed — a possibility that will help mitigate further risk reduce.

“We believe the risk of valuation losses is offset by the likelihood that authorities will provide liquidity support to banks when needed,” the agency said, citing regulators in Australia and Japan as examples.

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Officials in the region “emphasise strong interest rate risk management,” including in Australia, which imposes a minimum requirement for untraded interest rate risk, the analysts said, adding that Japanese banks have reduced asset allocation and duration.

“Ultimately, the creditworthiness of many Fitch-rated banks in APAC is heavily impacted by the prospect of exceptional government support,” the statement said.

“In general, we view the valuation risks of securities portfolios for APAC banks as manageable,” Fitch said.

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