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Fitch downgrades PASHA Bank amid doubts on Azerbaijani support

Fitch Ratings on May 26 downgraded Azerbaijan-based PASHA Bank OJSC's long-term issuer default rating to B+ from BB- and Turkish unit PASHA Yatirim Bankasi AS's national long-term rating to BBB+(tur) from A(tur).

The outlooks on both ratings were revised to stable from negative. The rating agency also affirmed PASHA Bank's short-term issuer default rating at B, downgraded its support rating to 5 from 3 and revised its support rating floor to No Floor from BB-.

The downgrade of PASHA Bank's long-term issuer default rating and support rating is driven by the default of government-owned OJSC International Bank of Azerbaijan on its foreign-currency non-deposit obligations. Fitch said the default of a state-owned bank meant that sovereign support for privately owned and less systemically important banks cannot be relied upon.

The stable outlook reflects the relative stability of the PASHA Bank's intrinsic credit profile and the agency's expectations for restricted changes to the lender's performance and other financial metrics in the next 12 to 18 months, whereas the previous negative outlook reflected that on the sovereign. The stable outlook on the Turkish unit's long-term issuer default rating, reflects that of the parent.