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Fitch upgrades 4 Uzbek state lenders

Fitch Ratings on Jan. 15 upgraded to BB- from B+ the long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings of Uzbekistani state-owned lenders Sanoat qurilish bank, or Uzbek Industrial and Construction Bank, State Joint-Stock Commercial Bank Asaka, JSCB Agrobank and JSCB Microcreditbank, with stable outlooks.

At the same time, the rating agency upgraded the banks' support ratings to 3 from 4 and revised their support rating floors to BB- from B+. Fitch affirmed the lenders' short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings at B.

The upgrades follow Fitch's assignment of BB- long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings to Uzbekistan. The equalization of the four banks' ratings with that of the sovereign one reflects Uzbek authorities' high propensity to provide support to the lenders, if necessary, the agency noted.