Standard & Poor's raised UBB long-term counterparty credit ratings to 'BB' from 'BB-'


FITCH assigns C/D individual rating to UBB

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its long-term counterparty credit rating on United Bulgarian Bank A.D. (UBB) to 'BB' from 'BB-'. The outlook remains stable.

The ratings on UBB reflect its solid commercial position and strong liquidity, as well as support from its strategic shareholder, the National Bank of Greece S.A. (NBG; BBB+/Stable/A-2).

Meanwhile FITCH Ratings, the international rating agency, has assigned an Individual rating of 'C/D' to United Bulgarian Bank (UBB). The agency has also affirmed the bank's Long-term and Short-term ratings at 'BB', and'B' respectedly.

The Individual rating takes account of the bank's sound capitalisation and liquidity, adequate profitability and its strong competitive position. It recognises the Bank's well-developed risk management system, and historically relatively strong asset quality of UBB. The Long and Short-term ratings for UBB are based on potential support from its parent, National Bank of Greece (NBG, rated 'A-' (A minus)), and are constrained by the sovereign ceiling for Bulgaria.

Performance is sound compared with that of its Bulgarian peers. As a result of increased economic stability, the bank is competing more aggressively for new business, causing its loan book to expand more quickly than the market average for the last three years. C/D is probably the best individual rating any bank can receive in Bulgaria for the time being.