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Fitch downgrades VTB Bank OAO to BBB-, affirms Sberbank Rossii OAO at BBB


Friday, 10 Jan 2014 06:34am EST 

VTB Bank OAO:Says Fitch Ratings has downgraded the long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of VTB Bank OAO (VTB) and six of its subsidiaries to BBB- from BBB.The outlooks on these ratings are stable.At the same time, the agency has affirmed the BBB long-term IDR of Sberbank Rossii OAO (Sberbank) with stable outlooks.The downgrade of VTB's ratings reflects Fitch's view of a marginally lower probability of government support for the bank.At the same time, VTB's IDRs continue to be underpinned by Fitch's view of the high probability of government support, in case of need, given the bank's still majority state ownership; its high systemic importance; and the track record of capital and funding support to date.The BBB long-term IDR of Sberbank is at the same level as those of the sovereign, and is underpinned by Fitch's view of a high probability of support from the Russian authorities, in case of need.Furthermore, Sberbank's long-term IDR is currently driven by Fitch's view of the bank's standalone strength, reflected in its bbb Viability Rating (VR), and so would not come under downward pressure even if Fitch lowers its expectation of government support for the bank. 

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