OREANDA-NEWS. Fitch Ratings (Thailand) Limited has assigned Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) Limited's (MBTh) new guaranteed medium-term debentures (MTN) programme of up to THB15bn a National Long-Term 'AAA(tha)' rating. The Outlook is Stable. At the same time the agency has affirmed MBTh's existing THB6.02bn guaranteed debentures under the previous THB10bn MTN programme at 'AAA(tha)' with Stable Outlook.


Guaranteed by Daimler: The ratings of the MTN programmes are based solely on the full, irrevocable and unconditional guarantee provided by Daimler AG (Daimler). Daimler's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'A-' is at the same level with Thailand's Long-Term Local Currency IDR of 'A-', which correlates to the National Long-Term rating of 'AAA(tha)'.

Strong Relationship with Daimler: MBTh is 99.99% owned by Daimler, with which it has strong operational and financial links. MBTh imports both completely built-up vehicles and completely knocked-down kits from Daimler for local assembly and distribution. MBTh is also closely monitored by Daimler's regional treasury centre and strictly implements the group's treasury policy.

Luxury Car Leader: MBTh is one of Thailand's premium-car market leaders, with more than 40% share of the premium-car market in terms of unit sales. The company also provides hire-purchase and leasing services through its wholly-owned leasing subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz Leasing (Thailand) Company Limited.


Negative: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to negative rating action include
- The rating on the guaranteed MTNs could be downgraded if Daimler's Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR falls below Thailand's Long-Term Local-Currency IDR.

Positive: The rating of MBTh's guaranteed MTNs are at the highest end of the National Rating scale, therefore there is no potential rating upside.