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S&P revises outlook on RBI to positive

S&P Global Ratings on May 30 revised to positive from negative the outlook on Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

At the same time, the agency affirmed the Austrian lender's BBB+/A-2 long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings and its BBB+ senior unsecured debt rating.

S&P noted that RBI is now the core institution of Raiffeisen Banking Group, which became RBI's ultimate parent after it merged with unlisted former parent Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG in March. Thus, RBI's ratings are equalized with the group's "bbb+" credit profile.

The outlook revision reflects S&P's view that the recent de-risking in foreign operations and stabilization of the geopolitical and economic risk conditions in higher risk countries where Raiffeisen Banking Group operates resulted in receding risks to the group. Consequently, the agency noted that it now sees some upside to the group's overall creditworthiness over the next two years.

The positive outlook also reflects S&P's expectation that RBI's role as a core member of the group will remain unchanged.

Despite profitability remaining constrained by the low-growth, low-interest-rate environment, S&P said it expects an improvement in the group's internal earnings-generation capacity, capitalization and risk metrics.

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