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Research Update: Russian Holding Company Safmar Financial Investments PJSC Downgraded To 'CCC-/C'; Ratings Placed On CreditWatch Negative

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Research Update: Russian Holding Company Safmar Financial Investments PJSC Downgraded To 'CCC-/C'; Ratings Placed On CreditWatch Negative

Overview

  • On March 3, 2022, S&P Global Ratings lowered its foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Russia to 'CCC-/C' from 'BB+/B' and 'BBB-/A-3', respectively, and revised down our transfer and convertibility assessment to 'CCC-' from 'BBB-'.
  • The ratings remain on CreditWatch with negative implications, where we placed them on Feb. 25, 2022.
  • In our view, Russia's measures to mitigate high exchange rate and market volatility will likely increase the risk of financial institutions defaulting.
  • We therefore lowered our ratings on Safmar Financial Investments PJSC to 'CCC-/C' and placed them on CreditWatch negative.
  • The CreditWatch negative indicates that we could lower the ratings further over the next few weeks.

Rating Action

On March 10, 2022, S&P Global Ratings lowered its long- and short-term issuer credit ratings on Safmar Financial Investments PJSC (SFI) to 'CCC-/C', the same level as the foreign currency rating and the transfer and convertibility assessment on Russia, from 'BB-/B' and placed them on CreditWatch with negative implications.

Rationale

The downgrade of SFI follows the lowering of our Russia foreign currency sovereign credit ratings to 'CCC-/C' from 'BB+/B' and local currency ratings to 'CCC-/C' from 'BBB-/A-3'; all sovereign ratings remain on CreditWatch negative.

We also revised down our transfer and convertibility assessment on Russia to 'CCC-' from 'BBB-' (see "Russia Ratings Lowered To 'CCC-' And Kept On CreditWatch Negative On Increasing Risk Of Default," published March 3, 2022, on RatingsDirect).

The downgrade follows the imposition of measures that we believe will likely substantially increase the risk of financial institutions' default.

To mitigate high exchange rate and financial market volatility, and to preserve remaining foreign currency buffers, Russia's authorities have--among other steps--introduced capital-control measures that we understand could constrain financial institutions from honoring their obligations in full and on time. More severe Group of Seven government sanctions and other restrictions were imposed on Russia in response to its accelerated military actions in Ukraine.

CreditWatch

The CreditWatch negative indicates that we could lower the ratings further over the next few weeks. We expect to resolve the CreditWatch placement once we have more clarity on the technical ability and/or willingness of financial institutions to honor their obligations in full and on time.

Related Criteria

Related Research

Ratings List

Downgraded; CreditWatch/Outlook Action
To From

SFI PJSC

Issuer Credit Rating CCC-/Watch Neg/C BB-/Stable/B

Certain terms used in this report, particularly certain adjectives used to express our view on rating relevant factors, have specific meanings ascribed to them in our criteria, and should therefore be read in conjunction with such criteria. Please see Ratings Criteria at www.standardandpoors.com for further information. A description of each of S&P Global Ratings' rating categories is contained in "S&P Global Ratings Definitions" at https://www.standardandpoors.com/en_US/web/guest/article/-/view/sourceId/504352 Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect at www.capitaliq.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on S&P Global Ratings' public website at www.standardandpoors.com. Use the Ratings search box located in the left column. Alternatively, call one of the following S&P Global Ratings numbers: Client Support Europe (44) 20-7176-7176; London Press Office (44) 20-7176-3605; Paris (33) 1-4420-6708; Frankfurt (49) 69-33-999-225; or Stockholm (46) 8-440-5914

Additional Contact:Financial Institutions EMEA;
Financial_Institutions_EMEA_Mailbox@spglobal.com

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