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Fitch upgrades 2 Bulgarian banks, affirms Allianz Group unit ratings

Fitch Ratings on Dec. 11 upgraded the long- and short-term issuer default ratings of Société Générale SA unit Societe Generale Expressbank AD, Sogelease Bulgaria and KBC Group NV unit United Bulgarian Bank AD to A-/F1 from BBB+/F2, with a stable outlook on the long-term ratings.

The support ratings of the companies were upgraded to 1 from 2. The "bb" viability rating of Societe Generale Expressbank and the "bb-" viability ratings of United Bulgarian Bank remained unaffected.

The upgrades reflect an extremely high probability that the trio will receive support from their parent companies in case of need, as well as the upgrade of the Bulgarian sovereign to BBB from BBB-, which means that the companies' ratings are no longer constrained by the Bulgarian country ceiling, which was revised to A- from BBB+.

Fitch also affirmed Allianz Group unit Allianz Bank Bulgaria AD's long- and short-term issuer default ratings at BBB+/F2, with a stable outlook on the long-term rating.