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Moody's acts on 8 Omani financial institutions

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Moody's acts on 8 Omani financial institutions

Moody's on March 19 downgraded certain ratings and assessments of seven Oman-based banks and affirmed the ratings of one financial services company, following the downgrade of Oman's issuer rating to Baa3 from Baa2.

The rating agency downgraded Bank Muscat SAOG's long- and short-term deposit ratings to Baa3/P-3 from Baa2/P-2, senior unsecured debt rating to Baa3 from Baa2 and its baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments to "baa3" from "baa2." The bank's long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments were affirmed at Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr).

Moody's also downgraded the deposit ratings of HSBC Holdings Plc unit HSBC Bank Oman SAOG to Baa3/P-3 from Baa2/P-2. The bank's baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments were affirmed at "ba1" and "baa2," respectively, while the counterparty risk assessments were affirmed at Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr).

Bank Dhofar SAOG's counterparty risk assessments were downgraded to Baa3(cr)/P-3(cr) from Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr), as well as its baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments to "ba2" from "ba1." Meanwhile, the bank's deposit ratings were affirmed at Baa3/P-3.

National Bank of Oman SAOG's baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments were downgraded to to "ba2" from "ba1" and its counterparty risk assessments to Baa3(cr)/P-3(cr) from Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr), while its long- and short-term deposit ratings were affirmed at Baa3/P-3 and its senior unsecured debt rating was affirmed at Baa3.

Moody's also downgraded the deposit ratings of Oman International Development & Investment Co. SAOG unit Oman Arab Bank SAOC to Ba1/NP from Baa3/P-3, as well as its counterparty risk assessments to Baa3(cr)/P-3(cr) from Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr) and its baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments to "ba2" from "ba1."

At the same time, Moody's downgraded Bank Sohar SAOG's deposit ratings to Ba1/NP from Baa3/P-3, baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments to "ba3" from "ba2" and counterparty risk assessments to Ba1(cr)/NP(cr) from Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr).

Meanwhile, Bank Nizwa SAOG's long-term deposit ratings were downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1 and its long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments to Ba1(cr)/NP(cr) from Baa3(cr)/P-3(cr). The bank's NP short-term deposit ratings and "b1" baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments were affirmed.

The outlook on the long-term bank deposits of all seven banks remains negative. The deposit ratings reflect lower government support capacity, lower probability of support for some banks and a lower macro profile, Moody's said.

Additionally, Moody's affirmed Al Omaniya Financial Services's long-term corporate family ratings at Ba3 and long-term issuer ratings at B1, with a negative outlook on both ratings.