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Fitch revises outlook on DFCC Bank, affirms 9 Sri Lankan banks

Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on DFCC Bank Plc to stable from negative while affirming the ratings of the lender and eight other Sri Lankan banks.

The rating agency said Dec. 21 that it affirmed the long-term issuer default ratings of DFCC Bank, National Savings Bank and Bank of Ceylon at B+, while the short-term foreign currency issuer default ratings of the three banks were affirmed at B. The outlooks on National Savings Bank and Bank of Ceylon are stable.

The national long-term ratings of National Savings Bank and Bank of Ceylon were affirmed at AAA(lka) and AA+(lka), respectively, while DFCC Bank's rating was affirmed at AA-(lka).

Fitch also affirmed National Development Bank Plc's and Sampath Bank PLC's national long-term ratings at A+(lka). The outlook on National Development Bank is stable, while that of Sampath Bank is negative.

Further, the rating agency affirmed the national long-term ratings of People's Bank at AA+(lka), Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC at AA(lka), Hatton National Bank Plc at AA-(lka) and Seylan Bank Plc at A-(lka). Each of the ratings was affirmed with a stable outlook.

Fitch said the ratings actions follow its periodic review of the large bank peer group. The rating agency expects challenging operating conditions for Sri Lankan banks to persist into 2018.

The revision of DFCC Bank's outlook reflects Fitch's view that adverse effects on the bank's credit profile from increasing risks in the domestic operating environment have reduced. Further, it expects the bank to maintain higher capital ratios against peers despite medium-term moderation alongside the bank's expansion.

The actions follow Fitch's revision of its outlook on Sri Lanka's banking sector to negative from stable.