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Fitch acts on 3 Bulgarian lenders

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Fitch acts on 3 Bulgarian lenders

Fitch Ratings on July 13 took various ratings action onthree Bulgarian banks.

The rating agency upgraded unitUnited Bulgarian BankAD's long-term issuer default rating to B+ from B with a stableoutlook and its viability rating to "b+" from "b." Theagency assigned the bank a support rating floor of No Floor and affirmed thebank's B short-term issuer default rating and 5 support rating.

Fitch upgraded Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD's viability rating to"bb" from "bb-," while affirming the bank's BBB-/F3 long-and short-term issuer default ratings. The outlook on the long-term rating isnegative. The agency affirmed the bank's support rating at 2.

Fitch affirmed First Investment Bank AD's B-/B long- and short-termissuer default rating. The outlook on the long-term rating is stable. Theagency affirmed the bank's "b-" viability rating, 5 support ratingand No Floor support rating floor.

The issuer default ratings of United Bulgarian Bank andFirst Investment Bank are based on their stand-alone financial strength asshown by their viability ratings. Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria)'s issuer defaultratings are based on potential support from parent . Theagency believes that there is a high chance that the unit would receive support,if needed, from the parent due to its strategic importance to the group.

The upgrade of the viability ratings of United BulgarianBank and Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) are based on their gradual reduction inlegacy impaired loans, which is likely to continue in 2016 and beyond, Fitchsaid.