Asian banking systems hold stable to positive outlook

July 11, 2007 -- Moody's Investors Service maintains stable or stable to positive outlooks for the 16 banking systems which it rates in Asia Pacific.

"Overall, the sector's financial fundamentals continue to improve with earnings at good levels, asset quality steady and capital bases enhanced," says Jerry Chien, Team Managing Director for Moody's Financial Institutions Group in Asia Pacific.

"In fact, the last few years have seen strong earnings in most banking systems throughout the region, and there is no reason to doubt that 2007 will be any different," says Chien, who was speaking on the release of Moody's annual Asian Banking Outlook.

"At the same time, reform and restructuring in areas, such as risk management, governance and transparency continue, although at varying speeds and with different result. Furthermore, ongoing robust GDP growth provides a highly sympathetic operating environment," says Deborah Schuler, Senior Vice President and Regional Credit Officer.

The report entitled the Asian Banking Outlook 2007, follows Moody's release of a package of articles looking at the developments in Asia's banking system, economies and financial markets on the 10th anniversary of the Asian crisis.

The report is also the first outlook for the Asian banking system since the application in May of Moody's joint default analysis (JDA) to bank ratings and its refinement of its bank financial strength rating (BFSR) methodology.

(This is the press release of Moody's Investors Service)

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