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Moody's changes outlook on ratings of Bank Audi, Blom Bank, Byblos Bank

Moody's on Dec. 17 revised the outlook on the long-term deposit and long-term national scale ratings of Lebanon-based Bank Audi SAL, BLOM BANK SAL and Byblos Bank SAL to negative from stable.

The agency affirmed the three banks' B3/Not Prime deposit ratings, "b3" baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments, B2/NP counterparty risk ratings, B2(cr)/NP(cr) counterparty risk assessments, A3.lb/LB-2 national scale deposit ratings, and Aa3.lb/LB-1 national scale counterparty risk ratings.

The outlook revision follows the same action being taken on Lebanon's B3 sovereign rating and reflects the high interconnectedness between the lenders and the sovereign.

The negative outlook on the three banks' long-term ratings is aligned with Lebanon's B3 sovereign rating, given the high interconnectedness between the banks and the country. The negative outlook also reflects challenging macroeconomic conditions that Moody's expects to weigh on loan quality and profitability for the trio of banks.