Fitch Ratings on Aug. 7 downgraded Unipol Banca SpA's long-term issuer default and deposit ratings to BB from BB+, following the completion of its acquisition by BPER Banca SpA.
The ratings were removed from Rating Watch Negative. The outlook on the long-term issuer default rating is positive. At the same time, the agency maintained Unipol Banca's "b" viability rating on Rating Watch Positive and affirmed its B short-term issuer default rating and 3 support rating.
Fitch noted that BPER's purchase of Unipol Banca from Unipol Gruppo SpA resulted in a change of institutional support provided to the unit and a subsequent downgrade of its long-term issuer default rating.
Unipol Banca's rating and positive outlook are now aligned with BPER's, reflecting that the former will become an integral part of the latter, the agency noted, adding that it expects to withdraw Unipol Banca's ratings once its merger into BPER is completed, expected by 2019-end, as it will cease to exist as a separate legal entity.