The Tianjin municipal government has helped its investment arm, Tianjin International Trust and Investment Corp (Titic), repay its 10-year, 10 billion yen (about HK$669.04 million) samurai bonds due yesterday. The government had made advances to Titic to repay about half of the debt after the investment arm succeeded in gathering the other half, partly through calls on debtors, sources said. Standard & Poor's (S&P), which revealed Titic's probable problem in redeeming the bond, said it would leave Titic's BB-minus rating unchanged. S&P global ratings development associate director Katrina Tai said: 'We are still monitoring the development of the situation. 'Titic still remains on credit watch with negative implications.' The US-based rating agency affirmed the BB-minus rating of Titic last Friday, following the public show of support by its owner that Titic would honour its debt commitment. A source close to Titic said the firm would continue efforts to chase loans and generate internal resources to repay the municipal government and prepare for the next known due payment of a five-year, 13 billion yen samurai bond in May. The firm had paid off most of its short-term debt, which was mostly raised on the mainland, in the past six months. The tight credit environment also meant it had not been able to raise much fresh short-term debt, if any.