Moodys places ratings on Piraeus Bank Bulgaria on credit watch negative.

By bne IntelliNews March 5, 2010
The international credit rating agency Moodys has placed on review for possible downgrade the Baa2/Prime-3 long-term and short-term local currency and Baa3/Prime-3 long-term and short-term foreign currency deposit ratings of the countrys seventh largest Piraeus Bank Bulgaria. The action follows a similar decision concerning all the ratings of the parent, Greece s Piraeus Bank SA. Only the financial strength rating of the local lender has remained unaffected. The long-term local currency deposit rating of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria incorporates three-notch uplift from its baseline credit assessment to reflect Moody's assessment of the probability of support from its parent. The review will focus on reassessing the ability and willingness of the Greek bank to support its local subsidiary and determining the appropriate level of uplift to be incorporated into the ratings of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria . The long-term foreign currency rating is constrained by the sovereigns rating currently and could remain in line with the local currency one if the latter is downgraded. The foreign currency rating may also face downward correction in case of any future further reduction in the local currency rating. In January, Moodys upgraded the outlook on the Baa3 long-term foreign currency deposit rating of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria from stable to positive on similar action of the sovereign rating.

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