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DBRS upgrades Belgium-based Belfius Banque

DBRS on March 25 upgraded Belfius Banque SA's long-term issuer, deposit and senior debt ratings to A.

The Belgian lender's long-term critical obligations rating was also upgraded to AA (low).

At the same time, the rating agency confirmed the bank's R-1 (low) short-term issuer, debt and deposit ratings, as well as its R-1 (middle) short-term critical obligations rating. Belfius Banque's intrinsic assessment is now A, while its support assessment remains SA3.

The trend on all ratings is now stable.

DBRS said the long-term issuer rating upgrade reflects Belfius Banque's progress in recent years in strengthening its banking and bancassurance franchise in Belgium, the bank's core market, leading to the improvement of its revenue diversification.

The ratings also take into account the bank's sound asset quality, strong funding and liquidity profile and strong capital position, as well as its limited geographical diversification and some risk concentration to certain sovereign exposures, the agency noted.