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Fitch affirms 4 Honduran banks; outlooks stable

Fitch Ratings on Aug. 9 affirmed the ratings of a number of Honduran banks, with stable outlooks on the long-term rating for all of the institutions.

The affirmations included ratings on Banco Atlántida SA, Banco Davivienda Honduras SA, Banco del País SA and Banco Financiera Comercial Hondureña SA.

In affirming Banco Atlántida SA's long- and short-term national ratings at A+(hnd) and F1(hnd), respectively, Fitch pointed to the company's moderate risk appetite, the quality of its loan portfolio and its solid, local franchise. Banco Atlántida is a "dominant bank in Honduras with a strong franchise in both loans and deposits which benefits its performance and business model," Fitch noted.

Fitch said the affirmation also considers the bank's "adequate liquidity, good and consistent operating profitability, as well as its sound capitalization."

For Banco Davivienda Honduras, Fitch affirmed its long- and short-term national ratings at AA+(hnd) and F1+(hnd), respectively. The ratings are fundamentally based on the support the Honduran unit receives from Colombian parent company Banco Davivienda SA.

Fitch affirmed Banco del País SA's long- and short-term national ratings at AA(hnd) and F1+(hnd), respectively.

The ratings are mainly based on support the bank is likely to receive from its sister company, Guatemala-based Banco Industrial SA, which is the main subsidiary of shared parent company Bicapital Corp. SA. The rating agency said it believes "financial support would be timely and sufficient given the strong synergies that exist with the group in providing financial products and services in Honduras which is considered strategically important for BI."

Additionally, Fitch affirmed Banco Financiera Comercial Hondureña SA's long- and short-term national ratings at AA-(hnd) and F1+(hnd), respectively.

The bank, known as Ficohsa, has made improvements to its risk control framework and underwriting standards to better control delinquency levels, while supporting moderate growth and good reserve coverage, Fitch said. Ficohsa's ratings reflect stronger risk control policies "which have begun to have a favorable influence on non-performing loans, which declined year-on-year in spite of moderate growth in the portfolio," the rating agency noted.