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Fitch downgrades Tunisia-based Wifak International Bank's national ratings

Fitch Ratings on June 4 downgraded Tunisia-based Wifak International Bank SA's long- and short-term national ratings to BB(tun)/B(tun) from AA+(tun)/F1+(tun), with a stable outlook on the long-term rating.

The downgrades reflect the agency's view that institutional support for the bank from the Islamic Corp. for the Development of the Private Sector, while possible, can no longer be relied on, and as such should no longer be taken into account when assessing Wifak's ratings.

Fitch said Wifak's ratings are now assigned solely based on its stand-alone creditworthiness, and reflect its weak funding profile, small size and market share in Tunisia, where it controls less than 1% of the total banking sector assets.

The stable outlook reflects the agency's assumption that upside and downside risks for the bank are equally balanced compared to local peers over the next two to three years.