TEXT-Fitch cuts Jordanian banks support ratings to '4'

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:19am EST

Feb 23 - Fitch Ratings has downgraded Jordan-based Bank of Jordan
 (BOJ), Jordan Islamic Bank (JIB), The Housing Bank for Trade
and Finance (HBTF), and Cairo Amman Bank's (CABK) Support
Ratings to '4' from '3'. The Support Rating Floor for BOJ and JIB has been
revised to 'B+' from 'BB-'. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this
release.	
	
These rating actions reflect a weakening in the state of Jordan's
creditworthiness. Higher domestic borrowing and dependence on foreign grants to
meet public expenditure needs have weakened government finances. Such
uncertainty is exacerbated by the volatile geopolitical situation in the region,
namely the escalating unrest in neighbouring Syria, which is a concern for
Jordan's economic growth prospects.	
	
The Support Ratings reflect Fitch's view of the limited probability of support
from the Jordanian authorities if required. Fitch believes the state of Jordan
has a strong propensity to support the banks given its supportive stance towards
the domestic banking system. However, potential support is limited by the
state's ability to do so.	
	
The rating actions are as follows:	
	
BOJ	
Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR): 'BB-'; Stable Outlook, unaffected	
Short-Term IDR: 'B', unaffected	
Viability Rating: 'bb-', unaffected	
Support Rating: downgraded to '4' from '3'	
Support Rating Floor: revised to 'B+' from 'BB-'	
	
JIB	
Long-Term IDR: 'BB-'; Stable Outlook, unaffected	
Short-Term IDR: 'B', unaffected	
Viability Rating: 'bb-', unaffected	
Support Rating: downgraded to '4' from '3'	
Support Rating Floor: revised to 'B+' from 'BB-'	
	
CABK	
Support Rating: downgraded to '4' from '3'	
	
HBTF	
Support Rating: downgraded to '4' from '3'	
	
Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.	
	
HBTF and CABK's ratings were unsolicited and have been provided by Fitch as a
service to investors.	
	
All other ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and
therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.	
	
Applicable criteria, "Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria", dated 16
August 2011, are available at www.fitchratings.com.	
	
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:	
Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria
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