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Fitch revises outlooks on Belgazprombank, VTB Bank (Belarus) to Negative

Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlooks from Stable to Negative on Belgazprombank (BGB) and VTB and affirmed other ratings of these banks, reads a Fitch Ratings news release. 

According to experts, the negative outlook reflects the increasing risks for the banks that the deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and external finance of the Republic of Belarus may weak the credit worthiness and lead to transfer and convertibility risks. 

Fitch Ratings has affirmed BGB and VTB’s Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'B' which reflects Fitch's view on the likelihood of support from the banks’ controlling shareholders, OAO Gazprom (Gazprom, 'BBB'/Negative) and VTB Bank (VTB, 'BBB'/Negative). However, Belarusian transfer and convertibility risks may limit the extent to which the banks could utilise such support, and therefore impose constraints on the ratings. 

BGB is the seventh largest bank in with a 2% share of system assets at end-2008. BGB is 48% owned by Gazprom and 48% by Gazprombank. The bank focuses on lending to the Belarusian private sector, particularly SME and retail sectors. In April 2009 BGB’s individual rating was upgraded from “E” to “D/E”. Russian VTB Bank has a 69.7% share in VTB Bank, which is the eighth largest bank in .

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