(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
March 20 -
-- We have maintained our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) on Egypt at group ‘8’, while lowering our economic risk score to ‘9’ from ‘8’ and maintaining our industry risk score at ‘7’.
-- Following our economic risk score revision, we lowered the anchor for banks operating in Egypt to ‘b+’ from ‘bb-'.
-- We are therefore affirming our ‘B/B’ long- and short-term ratings on National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Commercial International Bank (Egypt).
-- We are also affirming the unsolicited public information (‘pi’) rating on National Societe Generale Bank at ‘Bpi’.
-- The negative outlooks on NBE, BM, and CIB mirror the negative outlook on Egypt. They also factor in our view that the banks are facing rising operating risks in the context of a difficult political transition and a potentially prolonged economic slowdown.
On March 20, 2012, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings on National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr (BM), and Commercial International Bank (Egypt) S.A.E. (CIB) at ‘B/B’. The outlooks are negative.
We also affirmed the unsolicited public information (‘pi’) rating on National Societe Generale Bank S.A.E. (NSGB) at ‘Bpi’. We typically do not use modifiers, outlooks, or CreditWatch placements for ‘pi’ ratings.
We have affirmed our assessment of CIB’s stand-alone credit profile (SACP) at ‘bb-’ and lowered those on NBE and BM to ‘b+’ from ‘bb-’ and to ‘b’ from ‘b+', respectively, to reflect our view of their “very weak” capital positions, as our criteria define the term.