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S&P affirms, withdraws Russia-based SME Bank's ratings

S&P Global Ratings on Oct. 18 affirmed JSC Russian Bank for Small & Medium Enterprises Support's BB-/B long- and short-term issuer credit ratings and subsequently withdrew them at the lender's request.

The outlook was stable at the time of withdrawal.

Before the withdrawal, the ratings reflected S&P's view of the bank's importance for, and strong ties to, the Russian government because of its public policy role in the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises, with the lender's long-term rating being two notches higher than its "b" stand-alone credit profile.

S&P also noted it considered SME Bank to have moderate business position, based on its role in lending to small and medium-sized businesses, and strong capital and earnings, while rating constraints included SME Bank's exposure to changes in the government's economic policy, Russia's challenging operating environment for banks, as well as the lender's limited earnings power.

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