Fitch Ratings on Tuesday announced an upgrade Piraeus Bank SA’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B’ from ‘B-‘, as well as a Viability Rating (VR) to ‘b’ from ‘b-‘.

The outlook on the Long-Term IDR remained “positive”.

The announcement came a day after Fitch upgraded the other three systemic banks in the country.

Fitch said the upgrade reflects Piraeus Bank’s continued progress in reducing its stock of non-performing exposures (NPEs) and strengthening its regulatory capital ratios through structurally improving profitability and capital management actions. This has led to improved buffers over regulatory requirements and a material reduction in capital encumbrance by unreserved problem assets (which include NPEs and unreserved foreclosed assets).

The positive outlook reflects Fitch’s expectation that additional asset-quality clean-up and improvements in profitability will further strengthen Piraeus’ capitalization, which is currently weaker than peers, the rating agency said.

The expected resilience of the Greek economy in 2023, even in light of prevailing uncertainty, further underpins the upgrade.

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