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Moody's downgrades Nigeria's Access Bank, Bank of Industry

Moody's on May 3 downgraded various ratings of Nigeria's and following thedowngrade ofNigeria's sovereign issuer rating.

The agency also confirmed the ratings of , ending its for downgrade of thethree banks initiated March 8.

Moody's downgraded Access Bank's long-term local- andforeign-currency issuer ratings and long-term local-currency deposit rating to B1from Ba3, its long-term foreign-currency deposit rating to B2 from B1 and its long-termcounterparty risk assessment to B1(cr) from Ba3(cr). The lender's baseline andadjusted baseline credit assessments were confirmed at "b2". Bank ofIndustry's long-term local- and foreign-currency issuer ratings were downgradedto B1 from Ba3.

The downgrades reflect the Nigerian government's weakenedcapacity to support the banks in times of stress. Moody's noted that AccessBank's issuer and local-currency deposit ratings and Bank of Industry's issuerratings now carry one notch of uplift on account of government support, downfrom two previously.

The agency also confirmed Sterling Bank's baseline andadjusted baseline credit assessments at "b3", its long-termcounterparty risk assessment at B1(cr) and its long-term local- andforeign-currency issuer and deposit ratings at B2. The bank continues toreceive one notch of rating uplift on account of government support.

Moody's said the confirmation of Access Bank and SterlingBank's baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments reflects the agency'sexpectation that the banks' stand-alone credit profiles will remain resilientdespite the challenging operating environment.

All three banks' ratings carry stable outlooks.