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Moody's changes outlook on Russia's Metallinvestbank to positive

Moody's on May 30 changed its outlook on Moscow-based PJSC Stock Commercial Bank Metallurgical Investment Bank's B2 long-term local- and foreign-currency deposit ratings to positive from stable.

The rating agency also affirmed Metallinvestbank's long-term counterparty risk assessment of B1(cr) and the bank's short-term counterparty risk assessment of Not Prime(cr). The bank's "b2" baseline credit assessment and adjusted baseline credit assessment, and its Not Prime short-term local- and foreign-currency deposit ratings were also affirmed by the rating agency.

The overall change in outlook to positive from stable reflects the resilience of the bank's solvency metrics to the challenging operating environment in Russia over the 2014-2016 economic downturn, Moody's said.

The bank's improved corporate governance, reflected by the workout of loans issued to related parties, and its consistently strong funding profile and liquidity management, helped it weather market stress, the rating agency said.

The bank's percentage of loans due more than 90 days decreased to 5.8% of total gross loans from 8.8% reported a year earlier, Moody's said, adding that it expects Metallinvestbank's problem loans to continue to decrease over 2017 because the structure of its loan book is changing toward better-performing segments.