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Fitch upgrades Spain's Liberbank

Fitch Ratings on March 19 upgraded the long-term issuer default rating of Liberbank SA to BB+ from BB, with a stable outlook.

The agency also upgraded the Spanish lender's viability rating to "bb+" from "bb," while affirming its short-term issuer default rating at B, support rating at 5 and support rating floor at No Floor.

At the same time, Fitch withdrew Banco de Castilla-La Mancha SA's BB/B long- and short-term issuer default ratings, "bb" viability rating, 5 support rating and No Floor support rating floor, as the lender ceased to exist following its merger with parent Liberbank. Its senior unsecured debt rating was upgraded to BB+ from BB and transferred to Liberbank.

Liberbank's ratings reflect the substantial progress in cutting its problem assets, Fitch noted. The ratings also took into account the lender's sound regional franchise and adequate funding and liquidity profile as it seeks to improve its operating profitability.