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Fitch upgrades CaixaBank on reduced capital encumbrance after asset sales

Fitch Ratings on Oct. 8 upgraded CaixaBank SA's long-term issuer default rating to BBB+ from BBB, with a stable outlook, following the Spanish lender's announcement of the sale of its stake in energy firm Repsol SA.

The rating agency also upgraded the Spanish lender's long-term senior unsecured debt rating to BBB+ from BBB and its viability rating to bbb+ from "bbb."

In addition, Fitch assigned CaixaBank a derivative counterparty rating of BBB+(dcr) and affirmed its F2 short-term issuer default and senior unsecured debt ratings, 5 support rating and No Floor support rating floor.

Fitch said the stake sale, along with CaixaBank's previously announced sale of a large portfolio of foreclosed assets, will significantly reduce the lender's capital encumbrance from equity stakes and problem assets.

Fitch noted that CaixaBank's ratings reflect its reduced exposure to market risk and problem assets, and are also based on the bank's leading position in retail banking, insurance and asset management in Spain, as well as on its gradually improving profitability, adequate capital buffers and stable funding profile.

Meanwhile, Fitch said it assigned CaixaBank a DCR as the lender has significant derivatives activity and is swap counterparty to structured finance transactions rated by the agency.