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Fitch downgrades 2 Bahraini lenders

Fitch Ratings on July 19 downgraded various ratings ofNational Bank of BahrainBSC and BBK BSC,following the June 28 downgrade of Bahrain's ratings.

The lenders' long- and short-term issuer default ratings weredowngraded to BB+/B from BBB-/F3, with a stable outlook on the long-termratings. Fitch also downgraded the banks' viability ratings to "bb+"from "bbb-", lowered their support ratings to 3 from 2 and revisedtheir support rating floors to BB+ from BBB-. The rating agency also downgradedBBK's senior unsecured debt rating to BB+ from BBB-.

The downgrades of the banks' issuer default ratings reflectthe revisions to their support ratings and support rating floors, which weredriven by the weakening of Bahrain's ability to support its domestic banks. Theissuer default rating downgrades also reflect the lowering of the viabilityratings, which were a result of the weakening operating environment and thelenders' "significant" exposure to the Bahraini sovereign.