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Fitch Dwngrs Banks in the Dominican Republic

Fitch Dwngrs Banks in the Dominican Republic

Business Editors

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 3, 2004

Fitch Ratings, the international rating agency, today downgraded Dominican banks’ international ratings as detailed below. The action reflects the recent sovereign downgrade on the Dominican Republic’s long-term foreign and local currency obligations to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B’. The long-term foreign currency ratings of all Dominican banks rated by Fitch remain on Rating Watch Negative, similar to the sovereign.

Banco BHD

— Long-term foreign currency downgraded to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B’;

— Rating Watch Negative;

— Short-term foreign currency downgraded to ‘C’ from ‘B’;

— Individual affirmed at ‘D’ and placed on Rating Watch Negative;

— Support affirmed at ‘5’.

Banco del Progreso

— Long-term foreign currency downgraded to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-‘;

— Rating Watch Negative;

— Short-term foreign currency downgraded to ‘C’ from ‘B’;

— Individual affirmed at ‘D/E’;

— Support affirmed at ‘5’.

Banco Leon

— Long-term foreign currency downgraded to ‘CCC+’ from ‘B-‘;

— Rating Watch Negative;

— Short-term foreign currency downgraded to ‘C’ from ‘B’;

— Individual affirmed at ‘E’;

— Support affirmed at ‘5’.

Banco Mercantil

— Long-term foreign currency affirmed at ‘CCC’;

— Rating Watch Negative;

— Short-term foreign currency affirmed at ‘C’;

— Individual affirmed at ‘E’;

— Support affirmed at ‘5’.

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