The international agency Moody's has raised the ratings of two Cypriot banks.
Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank climbed two levels, their outlook is positive.
Moody`s upgraded the rating of Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank's long-term deposits in foreign and local currency from B1 to B3, their long-term counterparty risk ratings (CRR) from B1 to Ba3, their long-term counterparty risk assessment (CRA) from B1 (cr) to Ba3 (cr), their baseline and adjusted baseline credit ratings (BCA) from caa1 to b3.
The rating agency said that the outlook for the long-term deposit ratings of both banks is positive. Moody's also upgraded Bank of Cyprus's senior unsecured debt rating from Caa2 to Caa1, with a positive outlook.
The upgrade of the two banks reflects the strengthening of their autonomous credit profiles and, in particular, solvency, providing banks with additional buffers to navigate the still challenging operating environment following the coronavirus pandemic, the rating agency said.
Moody's expects both banks to continue to improve their solvency profiles, despite the possible formation of new problem loans due to the difficult conditions in which they currently find themselves.
Moody's also noted that the ratings of these banks could be upgraded in the coming quarters if they can maintain their high capital and liquidity, and improve the quality of their assets through funds, including the sale of assets.
At the same time, Moody's affirmed the deposit rating of RCB Bank and raised its outlook from “stable” to “positive”.
The bank's main credit rating (BCA) remained at b2, the counterparty risk assessment at NP (cr), the adjusted BCA dropped to b2 from b1, and the long-term partner rating to Ba2 (cr) from Ba1 (cr). RCB Bank said that "Moody's overall rating remained unchanged at B1, which is the highest rating among Cypriot banks."
By the way, RCB Bank Ltd was founded on August 1, 1995 and is one of the largest banks in Cyprus and among the important European banks, which are directly controlled by the European Central Bank through the SSM mechanism. The bank has branches in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Luxembourg.
The rating agency positively assesses the high capital level of RCB Bank, with the total capital adequacy ratio of 21.1% as of December 31, 2020. The confirmation of such a high rating also reflects the developing structure of the bank's liabilities, leading to increased protection of depositors. This repeated reaffirmation, coupled with a change in our outlook to positive, gives us the opportunity to continue to support the Cyprus economy as a whole and look to the future with confidence. Through the implementation of our successful strategy and our investments in innovation and the new era of digital banking, we will continue to make a tangible and positive contribution to the recovery and growth of Cyprus, said Kirill Zimarin, CEO of the bank.
As you may know, Moody’s Investors Service's ratings, research and risk analysis materials are among the most respected in the world. Moody’s research and ratings cover more than 110 countries and tens of thousands of issuers.