CHINA'S largest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has received credit ratings from Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Moody's for the first time. S&P assigned the ICBC an implied senior, long-term foreign currency debt rating of BBB and a short-term rating of A2 to certificates of deposit with a positive outlook. Moody's gave it ratings of A3 and Prime-2 for the bank's long-term and short-term deposits respectively. The two agencies' ratings for the ICBC are similar and the outlook from S&P are the same as China's country ratings. A3 and BBB are the highest ratings or 'sovereign ceilings' a mainland entity can obtain from Moody's and S&P. ICBC expects these ratings to help its international expansion and enhance its funding flexibility, opening up US capital markets which offer long-term financing to international issuers. 'The ratings reflect the rating agencies' understanding of the importance of ICBC's role in the Chinese financial and banking system,' said bank president Zhang Xiao.