Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the foreign currency deposit ratings of seven Tunisian banks to Baa2 from Ba1 with stable outlook. The changes are in line with the recent upgrade in the ceiling for foreign currency bank deposits and bonds in Tunisia, the agency stated.
The banks’ whose ratings were upgraded to Baa2 with a stable outlook include Amen Bank, Arab Tunisian Bank, Banque de Tunisie, Banque du Sud, Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie, Societe Tunisienne de Banque and
While the foreign currency deposit ratings of most Tunisian banks will continue to remain linked to the country ceiling, the ratings of some of the weaker private sector banks may be dissociated from the ceiling as the country rating rises, a Moody's statement read, adding that as Tunisia's country rating rises, so will the level of external support required to pull the ratings of the weakest banks to the country ceiling.
Moody's noted that the key factors underlying these rating actions are the Tunisian economy's stability and resilience to external shocks. In 2002, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at its lowest rate in a decade. This was caused by four years of consecutive drought, the world economic recession, and the effects of the events of September 11, 2001, and at Djerba in 2002 on the tourism sector.
Nevertheless, the economy showed marked resilience illustrated by a decreasing current account and budget deficit. — (menareport.com)
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