Fitch takes rating actions on Romanian banks on COVID-19 impact
Fitch Ratings has taken rating actions on five Romanian banks in light of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
The agency has downgraded the credit rating of UniCredit Bank to 'BB+' from 'BBB-' and revised the outlook on the ratings of Banca Transilvania and Garanti Bank to Negative from Stable. Fitch has also affirmed the Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings of Banca Transilvania, Garanti Bank, Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), and ProCredit Bank.
"The rating actions reflect our assessment of risks to the banks' credit profiles resulting from the economic implications of the pandemic. The ultimate implications for the banks' credit profiles are unclear, but Fitch considers the risks to be skewed to the downside," reads the agency's press release.
Fitch's updated baseline is that Romania's GDP will contract by 5.9% this year and return to 5.3% growth in 2021.
"However, we see significant downside risk given the rapidly evolving impact of the pandemic and possible extensions in containment measures," the agency said.
"Romanian authorities have taken monetary and fiscal measures to support the private sector, which should be positive for the banks. Nonetheless, we expect asset quality to weaken compared with previous expectations and earnings to come under pressure from lower business volumes, higher loan impairment charges, and pressure on net interest margins resulting from a 50bp cut in the policy interest rate," Fitch explained.
(Photo source: Shutterstock)