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Fitch downgrades Barclays Africa's support rating

Fitch Ratings on June 7 downgraded Barclays Africa Group Ltd.'s support rating to 5 from 4, following the reduction in Barclays Plc's shareholding in the South African lender to 16.4%.

The 5 support rating reflects Fitch's view that institutional support from Barclays can no longer be relied upon following the reduction of its stake from 50.1%, and that sovereign support can no longer be relied upon as well.

Fitch also assigned Barclays Africa Group a No Floor support rating floor, saying it believes that support for the bank will most likely come from the authorities, rather than from Barclays. "However, this also considers that support cannot be relied upon from the authorities," the agency added.

Barclays Africa Group's BB+/B long- and short-term issuer default ratings, BB+ long-term local-currency issuer default rating, "bb+" viability rating and AA(zaf)/F1+(zaf) long- and short-term national ratings were unaffected by the ratings action.

The ratings of the bank's main subsidiary, Absa Bank Ltd., are also unaffected.