S&P Global Ratings on April 3 revised to positive from stable the long-term ratings of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA and core unit BBVA Global Markets BV, as well as Santander Consumer Finance SA and Germany-based core subsidiary Santander Consumer Bank AG, following a similar ratings action on Spain.
At the same time, the rating agency affirmed the BBB+/A-2 long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings of all four entities.
BBVA's stand-alone credit profile stands at "bbb+."
S&P said the positive outlook on BBVA reflects the possibility of an upgrade of its long-term ratings over the next 12 to 24 months if the lender's creditworthiness strengthens and Spain is upgraded. On the other hand, the outlook could be changed back to stable if the agency no longer sees the two previously mentioned conditions materializing.
Meanwhile, the agency said the positive outlook on Santander Consumer Finance reflects the possibility that its long-term ratings could also be raised over the same period of time, given that the ratings of parent company Banco Santander SA and Spain were raised. The outlook could be changed to stable if S&P perceives that an upgrade on either the parent or the sovereign were unlikely.
S&P said it sees Germany-based Santander Consumer Bank as a core unit of Santander Consumer Finance, so the former's ratings are thus expected to mirror the latter.
Banco Santander is the ultimate parent of Santander Consumer Finance and Santander Consumer Bank.
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.