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Fitch places ex-Soviet bloc banks on Rating Watch

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Fitch places ex-Soviet bloc banks on Rating Watch

Fitch Ratings on Dec. 20 placed certain ratings of AtaBank OJSC, Public Stock Co. Orient Express Bank, OJSC International Bank of Azerbaijan, JSC Alfa-Bank and PJSC Ukrsotsbank on Rating Watch Evolving.

The ratings include Atabank's, Orient Express Bank's, International Bank of Azerbaijan's, Alfa-Bank's and Ukrsotsbank's "ccc" viability ratings, Atabank's CCC long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating and Orient Express Bank's CCC long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings.

At the same time, the rating agency maintained on Rating Watch Negative PJSC Asian-Pacific Bank's CCC long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings and PJSC Uraltransbank's CCC long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating.

Fitch said the rating actions are driven by the publication of the exposure draft of the agency's revised bank rating criteria, under which Fitch outlined plans to introduce + and - modifiers at the CCC/ccc level for long-term issuer default ratings, long-term international debt and deposit ratings, derivative counterparty ratings and viability ratings.

The Rating Watches reflect the potential for Fitch to take rating actions following the finalization and publication of the revised bank rating criteria, the agency said.

Meanwhile, the Rating Watch Negative on Asian-Pacific Bank's and Uraltransbank's ratings continue to reflect uncertainty with their ability to fully comply with regulatory requirements given their capital shortfall, and now also reflects the possibility that the ratings will be lowered to CCC- after the criteria are published, Fitch said.