TUNIS — Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed and changed the outlooks to negative from stable on the local-currency deposit ratings of Amen Bank (Amen, B1), Banque de Tunisie (BdT, Ba3); Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie (BIAT, Ba3) and Societe Tunisienne de Banque (STB, B1). Concurrently, Moody’s affirmed the Local currency deposit rating of Arab Tunisian Bank (ATB, Ba3), the outlook remains stable. Moody’s also affirmed the foreign-currency deposit ratings for the five banks.
The negative outlook on the four Tunisian banks’ deposit ratings is primarily driven by the rating agency’s assessment that the Tunisian government’s capacity to support the banks is deteriorating, indicated by worsening fiscal deficit and debt trajectory and signaled by Moody’s recent decision to change the outlook on Tunisia’s government bond rating to negative from stable. As a result, the four Tunisian banks’ deposit ratings, which incorporate government support uplift from their baseline credit assessment (BCA), could be reduced. Moody’s decision to maintain a stable outlook on ATB’s ratings reflects the absence of government support uplift from the bank’s adjusted BCA and therefore resilience of
ATB’s ratings to a reduction in the government’s capacity to support banks in case of need. However, in line with other banks, ATB’s B1 long-term foreign-currency deposit ratings could reduce if Moody’s reduces its B1 country ceiling on foreign-currency bank deposits for Tunisia. — SG