TEXT-Fitch publishes international compendium of bank outlooks

Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:38am EST

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency)

Feb 13 - Fitch Ratings has published an international compendium of financial institutions outlooks for 2013, comprising its research reports on 30 countries or geographical regions' banking sectors, as well as a review and outlook of the global universal and trading banks and an examination of Fitch's global bank rating trends.

"2013 will be an interesting year for financial institutions, which continue to face competing narratives about their overall creditworthiness," says David Weinfurter, Global Head of Financial Institutions at Fitch Ratings. "While most country-centric bank outlooks are stable, as are about 75% of bank-specific Issuer Default Rating outlooks, there are notable exceptions in southern Europe and certain other country markets."

Tepid economic growth, weak demand for credit, lingering asset quality issues and a low interest rate environment have all put pressure on banks' revenues, and this has led to occasional cost-cutting to boost earnings. Yet banks also have improved the amount and quality of their capital, reduced leverage, improved funding and liquidity, selectively repaid central bank financings and re-oriented their business mix. The markets have reacted positively thus far in 2013, with healthy primary market activity and compressed spreads in January.

Fitch's "Financial Institutions 2013 Outlooks Compendium is available at www.fitchratings.com

Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: Global Financial Institutions 2013 Outlooks Compendium

here

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