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MEA ratings roundup through July 31

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly overview of ratings actions on Middle Eastern and African financial institutions and economies. Ratings actions are listed by announcement date in reverse chronological order.

July 31

* Moody's acted on six Omani lenders following the recent downgrade of Oman's issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa1 and change in outlook to negative from stable. The rating agency downgraded the long- and short-term local- and foreign-currency bank deposit ratings of Bank Dhofar SAOG, National Bank of Oman SAOG and Oman Arab Bank SAOC to Baa3/P-3 from Baa2/P-2, as well as their long-term counterparty risk assessments to Baa2(cr) from Baa1(cr). Moody's affirmed the three banks' baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments at "ba1" and their short-term counterparty risk assessments at P-2(cr).

Moody's also downgraded Bank Muscat SAOG's and HSBC Bank Oman SAOG's long-term bank deposit ratings to Baa2 from Baa1 and long-term counterparty risk assessments to Baa2(cr) from Baa1(cr), and affirmed their short-term bank deposit ratings at P-2, adjusted baseline credit assessments at "baa2" and short-term counterparty risk assessments at P-2(cr). Bank Muscat's baseline credit assessment was affirmed at "baa2," while that of HSBC Bank Oman was affirmed at "ba1."

In addition, Bank Nizwa SAOG saw its long- and short-term bank deposit ratings drop to Ba1/NP from Baa3/P-3 and its counterparty risk assessments to Baa3(cr)/P-3(cr) from Baa2(cr)/P-2(cr). Its baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments were affirmed at "b1." Moody's also affirmed Al Omaniya Financial Services' long-term issuer rating at B1 and corporate family rating at Ba3. The outlook on both ratings remains negative.

* Moody's took various ratings actions on four Bahraini lenders, following its downgrade of Bahrain's issuer rating to B1 negative from Ba2 negative. The agency downgraded BBK BSC's and National Bank of Bahrain BSC's long-term local-currency deposit ratings to B1 from Ba2. Also downgraded were the two banks' long-term foreign-currency deposit ratings to B2 from Ba3, their baseline credit assessments to "b1" from "ba2," and their long-term counterparty risk assessments to Ba3(cr) from Ba1(cr).

At the same time, Moody's downgraded the long-term local-currency issuer ratings of Bahrain Islamic Bank BSC and Khaleeji Commercial Bank BSC to B1 from Ba3, as well as their long-term foreign-currency issuer ratings to B2 from Ba3. The agency upgraded Bahrain Islamic Bank's baseline credit assessment to "b2" from "b3," while downgrading its long-term counterparty risk assessment to B1(cr) from Ba2(cr). Khaleeji Commercial Bank's counterparty risk assessment was downgraded to Ba3(cr) from Ba2(cr), while its baseline credit assessment was affirmed at "b1."

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed African Development Bank's AAA/A-1+ long- and short-term issuer credit ratings. The outlook is stable.

July 28

* Moody's downgraded Oman's long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings to Baa2 from Baa1 and revised the outlook on the country to negative from stable. The rating agency also downgraded Oman's long-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Baa1 from A3; its long-term foreign-currency bank deposit ceiling to Baa2 from Baa1; and its long-term local-currency country risk ceilings to Baa1 from A3.

* Separately, Moody's downgraded Bahrain's long-term issuer rating to B1 from Ba2 and maintained its negative outlook. The agency also lowered Bahrain's long-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Ba2 from Baa3; its long-term foreign-currency deposit ceiling to B2 from Ba3; its short-term foreign-currency bond ceiling to Not Prime from Prime-3; and its long-term local-currency country risk ceilings to Ba1 from Baa2.

* Moody's downgraded the Republic of the Congo's long-term local- and foreign-currency issuer ratings to Caa2 from B3 and maintained the negative outlook. The agency also lowered the country's local- and foreign-currency long-term bond and deposit ceiling to B2 from Ba3.

* Fitch Ratings affirmed Seychelles' long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings at BB-, with a stable outlook. The agency also affirmed the issue rating on Seychelles' unsecured foreign-currency bond at BB-, its short-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings at B and its country ceiling at BB.

July 27

* Capital Intelligence Ratings affirmed Jordan Commercial Bank's long- and short-term foreign-currency ratings at BB-/B.

* CI Ratings affirmed Sharjah Islamic Bank's financial strength rating at BBB+.

* A.M. Best affirmed Societe Tunisienne de Reassurance's financial strength rating at B+ and its long-term issuer credit rating at "bbb-," with a stable outlook.

July 25

* Moody's withdrew Arab Banking Corp. (BSC)'s Ba1/Not Prime long- and short-term foreign-currency deposit ratings, "ba2" baseline credit assessment, "ba1" adjusted baseline credit assessment and Baa3(cr)/Prime-3(cr) long- and short-term counterparty risk assessments. The agency noted that the bank's long-term deposit rating carried a negative outlook at the time of withdrawal.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.