Moody’s confirms outlook downgrades for 15 Vietnamese banks

By Hung Le   December 20, 2019 | 04:40 am PT
Moody’s confirms outlook downgrades for 15 Vietnamese banks
US dollar and Vietnam dong banknotes at a bank branch in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
International credit rating agency Moody’s has lowered 15 banks’ credit outlook to negative after doing the same to the Government of Vietnam. 

Moody’s Investors Service Thursday confirmed a series of ratings actions on 18 Vietnamese banks, concluding a review for downgrade initiated early October.

For 10 of the 18 banks, Moody's has confirmed their long-term local and foreign currency deposit and issuer ratings, and changed the outlook for these ratings to negative from "ratings under review for downgrade."

For five of the 18 banks, Moody's has confirmed the banks' long-term foreign currency deposit ratings, and also changed the outlook on their long-term foreign currency deposit ratings to negative.

Moody’s also confirmed the long-term Counterparty Risk Assessments and Counterparty Risk Ratings of the remaining three banks. Counterparty risk is the likelihood or probability that one of those involved in a transaction might default on its contractual obligation.

The rating actions on the banks follow Moody's announcement Wednesday, retaining the Government of Vietnam's Ba3 sovereign rating, but changing the sovereign rating outlook to negative after the government delayed a payment.

"Moody's rating actions on the 18 banks are driven purely by the sovereign rating action, and do not reflect a weakening of the banks' standalone financial profiles," Moody’s said in its statement.

Out of the 18 banks, Moody’s said it would upgrade 10 banks’ credit outlooks to "stable" if it does the same to the Government of Vietnam, and that it is open to upgrading the remaining eight’s long-term ratings if there are significant improvements in their credit fundamentals.  

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