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FITCH UPDATES GREEK BANKS
Fitch Ratings οn Thursday upgraded Greece's four systemic banks in the aftermath of its decision to upgrade the country's credit rating on Tuesday.
Fitch said it upgraded National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank Ergasias Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings to 'B-' from 'CCC', Short-term IDRs to 'B' from 'C' and Viability Ratings to 'b-' from 'f'.
The agency has also revised the Greek banks' Support Rating Floors to 'No Floor' from 'CCC' and affirmed the Support Rating at '5'.
These rating actions follow the banks' recapitalisation and a more stabilised macroeconomic environment in Greece, which is reflected in the agency's upgrade of Greece's sovereign rating to 'B-' from 'CCC' with a Stable Outlook. The Outlook on the banks' Long-term IDRs is Stable, reflecting the close correlation with that of the sovereign.
In the absence of Greek authorities' ability to support the Greek banks, as evidenced by the sovereign's weak creditworthiness and the receipt of a sizeable IMF/EU bail-out plan which included support to banks, the four banks' Long-term IDRs and senior debt ratings are now driven by their improved stand-alone fundamentals as expressed by their VRs, Fitch said in a statement.
The upgrade of the VRs reflects the banks' recapitalisation, which is in its final stage, and a more stabilised macroeconomic environment in Greece, as expressed by the sovereign upgrade. Despite the upgrade, at the 'b-' level the VR denotes weak prospects for ongoing viability as per Fitch's rating definitions, the credit rating agency said.
SOURCE: ATHENS-MACEDONIAN NEWS AGENCY