HONG KONG, May 20 (Reuters) - Moody’s said on Wednesday it may downgrade a host of banks across Asia, citing constraints faced by governments in supporting their financial systems at a time when countries face more pressure to service their debts.
Moody’s is the only credit agency that has assigned some ratings to banks that are above the equivalent government ratings for the countries in which they are based — an action that the credit agency is now seeking to rectify.
The agency now notes the support that governments can provide to their financial systems has been reduced amid the global financial crisis, bringing into question whether ratings for banks, such as those for local currency deposits, can stand above government ratings.
The credit agency undertook a similar move for South Korean banks in January. That action was largely viewed by analysts as insignificant.
Moody’s said it would review a host of ratings, including for debt, deposits and financial strength, for banks in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and South Korea. (Reporting by Rafael Nam; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)