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Moody's puts Banco Nacional de Bolivia on review for downgrade

Following a similar action on Bolivia's sovereign ratings due to the country's political crisis, Moody's on Dec. 6 placed Banco Nacional de Bolivia SA's long-term ratings on review for downgrade.

The affected ratings include the bank's global scale, long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings at Ba3 and B1, respectively; the long-term local and foreign currency counterparty risk rating of Ba2; the baseline credit assessment and adjusted baseline credit assessment at "ba3;" and the global scale long-term counterparty risk assessment of Ba2(cr).

The outlook on the bank's ratings, which previously was stable, also has changed to reflect the review for downgrade.

Moody's said the review for downgrade on Banco Nacional de Bolivia is prompted by a review on the sovereign's government bond rating as the bank's baseline current assessment and local currency deposit rating are at the same level of that of the sovereign. That would mean, a downgrade of Bolivia's sovereign ratings would also drive a downgrade on the bank's ratings.

Bolivia's sovereign ratings were placed on review for downgrade as higher political risks following allegations of rigging in the country's recent presidential elections will increase political uncertainty and potentially lead to an economic slowdown. The crisis led to the resignation of Evo Morales as president and his eventual exile to Mexico.

Moody's said the bank's ratings could be confirmed at the current level should asset risk, funding and liquidity metrics not slump further. Banco Nacional de Bolivia is the country's second-largest lender in terms of loans and deposits.

Meanwhile, Moody's also affirmed the bank's global scale, short-term local and foreign currency deposit and counterparty risk ratings of Not Prime, and the short-term counterparty risk assessment of Not Prime(cr).