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Fitch upgrades Banrisul on solid business profile, lower contagion risks

Fitch Ratings on July 31 upgraded several of Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul SA's ratings, citing the bank's solid company profile and lower risks posed by the operating environment in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The rating agency raised the bank's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to BB- from B+, viability rating to "bb-" from "b+" and long-term national ratings to A+(bra) from A(bra). The outlook on the long-term national ratings was revised to positive from stable, while that of the long-term issuer default ratings is stable.

The bank's B short-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings and F1(bra) national short-term rating were affirmed.

In Fitch's view, the bank's company profile, supported by its business model and franchise, has been resilient to the challenges in the operating environment of Rio Grande do Sul. Contagion risks to the bank's risk appetite and key credit metrics have decreased, as seen in the stable to improving trend in Fitch's core financial metrics, the rating agency said.

The ratings also consider the bank's key financial profile metrics, risk appetite, management quality and strategy objectives, which are in line with similarly rated entities.

Like other public companies, however, Banrisul is potentially subject to political influence even with its solid corporate governance structure, Fitch noted.