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S&P acts on RBI, RZB following merger approval

S&P Global Ratings on Jan. 26 took ratings actions on Austrian lenders Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG following the approval of their merger by RBI's shareholders.

RBI's long-term counterparty credit rating was upgraded to BBB+ from BBB, reflecting the agency's expectation that the bank's importance to Raiffeisen Banking Group will increase following the merger. The merged company will operate under the name of Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

S&P affirmed RZB's long-term counterparty credit rating at BBB+, as well as the A-2 short-term counterparty credit ratings of RBI and RZB.

The two banks' long-term ratings have a negative outlook, which according to S&P reflects its view that although their merger will benefit Raiffeisen Banking Group's credit profile, there are still potential downside risks to the group's creditworthiness over the next two years due to its exposure to continued geopolitical and economic risk.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.