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Fitch affirms Dime Community Bancshares ratings

Fitch Ratings on March 22 affirmed Dime Community Bancshares Inc.'s and subsidiary Dime Community Bank's long-term issuer default rating of BBB and short-term IDR of F2.

The company's long-term subordinated debt was also affirmed at BBB-. The bank's long- and short-term deposits were affirmed at BBB+ and F2, respectively.

The ratings reflect favorably on the company's asset quality and capital levels. Fitch noted Dime Community's focus on mostly rent-stabilized multifamily properties in New York City, where the levels of supply and demand for affordable rentals keep cash flow predictable.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company has slowly started to diversify its business model. While Fitch is cautious about Dime Community entering lines of business in which it has no experience — especially in such a competitive market — the effort to expand is positively viewed.

The ratings outlook is "stable."