“Today's rating action reflects, to differing degrees, a combination of (i) the Omani government's weakened fiscal capacity to support the country's banks in case of need, as indicated by the downgrade of the sovereign rating, and (ii) the weakening standalone credit profiles of some banks,” the ratings agency said in a note.
At the same time, Moody's affirmed the long-term local currency deposit ratings and downgraded the long-term foreign currency deposit rating of two banks: HSBC Bank Oman SAOG (HBON) and Bank Nizwa.
Moody's has changed the outlook to stable from negative on the long-term deposit ratings of all seven banks.
The ratings agency also downgraded the baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA of four Omani banks: Bank Muscat, HBON, NBO and OAB. In addition, Moody's has affirmed the BCAs and adjusted BCAs of three banks: Bank Dhofar, Sohar International and Bank Nizwa.
“In terms of governance considerations, Moody's does not have any particular governance concern for Omani banks. The conservative regulatory framework in Oman helps support the banks' governance practices,” Moody’s noted.
(Writing by Gerard Aoun; editing by Seban Scaria)
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