Moody's Lowers Sberbank Rossii OAO's and VTB Bank OAO's Ratings-Interfax
Interfax reported that rating agency Moody's has lowered the long-term debt and deposit ratings of Sberbank Rossii OAO (Sberbank) to Baa1 from A3 and of VTB Bank OAO (VTB) to Baa2 from Baa1 due to a revaluation of the level of systemic support the government can provide them in times of crisis. In its review of ratings for banks with state involvement, which was announced on April 2, the agency arrived at the conclusion that the government - in contrast to its pre-crisis standing, now has less opportunity to provide that support if required. However, the high likelihood of such support is still a factor in the banks' ratings, the statement says. The agency's assessment of Sberbank and VTB's creditworthiness, not counting possible support, has not changed and the outlook for all ratings remains stable. The rating agency considers that the government's capacity to provide systemic support to banks has weakened relative to pre-crisis levels (2007-08). Despite the lower support capacity, the rating agency continues to incorporate a likelihood of systemic support into the ratings of Russian banks, based on the government's track record of support, its controlling ownership in these banks and their market share and / or policy role.
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