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Fitch upgrades Kazakh lender SB Alfa-Bank

Fitch Ratings on April 3 upgraded JSC SB Alfa-Bank's long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer default ratings and senior unsecured debt ratings to BB- from B+.

The rating agency also upgraded the Almaty, Kazakhstan-based bank's national long-term rating and national senior unsecured debt rating to BBB+(kaz) from BBB(kaz) and the viability rating to "bb-" from "b+." Fitch affirmed the bank's B short-term foreign-currency issuer default rating and 4 support rating.

The outlook on the long-term issuer default ratings, the national long-term rating and senior unsecured debt rating is stable.

The upgrade of the issuer default ratings reflects the bank's extended record of good financial performance, supported by relatively low funding costs and reasonable asset quality, considerable capital buffer and ample liquidity. The senior unsecured debt ratings reflect the agency's assessment that recoveries are likely to be average in the event of any default.

SB Alfa-Bank is a unit of ABH Holdings SA, which is also the parent of Russia's JSC ALFA-BANK.