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Credit rating requirement for debt issues to qualify for profits tax concession

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has announced today (20 August) the credit rating requirement applicable to short-term debt instruments for the purpose of qualifying debt instruments for profits tax concession under section 14A of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO).

Under the profits tax concession scheme, interest income and trading profits derived from eligible debt securities are entitled to concessionary tax rates as specified in the relevant section.  To be eligible, a debt instrument should, among other criteria, possess a credit rating acceptable to the Monetary Authority (MA) from a rating agency recognised by the MA.

The MA has announced the latest minimum acceptable credit ratings applicable to long-term debt instruments in June 2006.  With the newly announced minimum acceptable credit ratings applicable to short-term debt instruments, the minimum credit ratings acceptable to the MA for the purpose of qualifying debt instruments for profits tax concession under section 14A of the IRO are:    

Recognised credit rating agencies

Minimum rating required

Long-term debt instrument

Short-term debt instrument

Fitch Ratings

BBB-

F3

Moody’s Investors Service

Baa3

P-3

Rating and Investment Information, Inc.

BBB-

a-3

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services

BBB-

A-3

 

The MA reserves the right to make adjustments to the list of rating agencies and minimum credit ratings recognised by him.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
20 August 2012

Last revision date: 20 August 2012
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