S&P cuts rating of Bulgarian American Credit Bank to B+ from BB-.

By bne IntelliNews June 17, 2010
International credit rating agency Standard and Poor's has lowered the long-term rating of Bulgarian American Credit Bank (BACB) to B+ from BB- with a negative outlook and affirmed the bank's short-term rating at B. According to the agency, the loan portfolio quality at BACB has continued to deteriorate in 2010, pressuring the bank's profitability and financial profile. The negative outlook reflects our view that the difficult market environment in Bulgaria is likely to continue to weigh on BACB's asset quality and profitability this year, given the bank's concentrated exposure to the domestic real estate sector, the agency said. ISI DealWatch reported in February that BACB shareholders have started to look for a possible sale of the lender. Allied Irish Banks owns a 49.9% stake in BACB while the emerging markets fund of U.S. advisory company Gramercy holds around 31% in the bank.

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