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Moody's changes outlook of 6 Chinese banks on coronavirus risk exposure

Moody's has changed the outlook on six Chinese banks to negative from stable and affirmed their ratings to reflect the local banking sector's exposure to regions and industries affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The outlook change takes into account the rating agency's belief that China's economic growth will slow in 2020 and that the resultant risk of deterioration in the banks' credit quality has heightened, pressuring their baseline credit assessments.

The banks subjected to the outlook change have portfolios that are more sensitive to economic downturns, either because they are more exposed to small businesses or due to less-diversified portfolios with higher lending exposure to the most affected sectors or regions, Moody's noted.

The rating agency affirmed the Baa3 long-term foreign- and local-currency deposit ratings of Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd. and Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Corp. Ltd., the Baa2 long-term foreign- and local-currency deposit ratings of Bank of Ningbo Co. Ltd. and Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., as well as the Ba1 long-term foreign- and local-currency deposit and issuer ratings of Bank of Suzhou Co. Ltd.

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