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S&P, Moody's act on Bank Pekao after UniCredit sale announcement

S&P Global Ratings on Dec. 12 revised its outlook on Bank Pekao SA to stable from negative and affirmed the bank's long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings at BBB+/A-2.

The outlook revision reflects the rating agency's views that Bank Pekao's ratings are no longer constrained by the "bbb-" group credit profile of UniCredit SpA, which recently agreed to sell a 32.8% stake in the lender to PZU SA and the Polish Development Fund, and fully exit the bank by 2019 by selling the remaining 7.3% stake in a market transaction. The remaining uncertainty about the resolution strategy applied to Bank Pekao is removed as it will no longer form part of a European cross-border banking group.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that the bank's stand-alone credit profile, especially its "strong" capitalization, will remain intact in the next two years. Despite the change in shareholder structure, the agency believes Bank Pekao will continue to hold sufficient capital buffers to withstand any adverse developments in its operating environment.

Moody's on the same day affirmed Bank Pekao's A2/Prime-1 long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency bank deposit ratings, "baa1" baseline credit assessment and adjusted baseline credit assessment and A1(cr)/P-1(cr) long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments. The outlook on the long-term foreign-currency bank deposit rating remains negative, while the outlook on the long-term local-currency deposit rating remains stable.

The ratings affirmation reflects Moody's view that the agreed stake sale will not have an impact on the credit profile of Bank Pekao, which will continue to execute its existing business strategy in the Polish market under the new ownership structure.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.