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Fitch downgrades 2 Lebanese lenders

Fitch Ratings on July 22 downgraded the long-term issuerdefault and viability ratings of Bank Audi SAL and Byblos Bank SAL, following the agency's of Lebanon's sovereignrating.

Fitch lowered the banks' long-term IDRs to B- from B andtheir viability ratings to b- from "b." The outlook on the long-termratings is stable.

The banks' long-term IDRs are linked to their intrinsicstrength as indicated by their viability ratings. The ratings are driven byLebanon's sovereign rating due to its strong correlation to bank risks. BothBank Audi and Byblos Bank have significant exposure to the Lebanese sovereignand central bank, Fitch said.

The banks' viability ratings are influenced by their assetquality and the operating environment.