Portuguese American Journal

Moody’s downgraded BANIF Bank to junk rating – Portugal

Rating agency Moody’s downgraded Portuguese bank BANIF two notches Wednesday, from Baa3 to Ba2 junk rating.

Moody’s explained that the downgrade was due to the reduction in Portugal’s sovereign rating and was in line with other Portuguese banks that had been downgraded in early April.

More rating cuts may still come as outlook remains negative.

Banco Internacional do Funchal, commonly abbreviated to BANIF, founded in 1988, is a Portuguese international bank with a presence in Europe, South America, North America, Africa and Asia.

In the United States, BANIF Bank has representative offices in Fall River (MA), Miami (FL), and San Jose (CA). In Canada BANIF has a representative office in Toronto.

In the Azores and Madeira BANIF Bank has a market share of 34% and 26% respectively.

On June 9, Moody’s placed seven Portuguese banks under review for a potential downgrade due to pressure on Portugal’s sovereign credit profile and a challenging operating environment which will further restrict banks’ access to market funding and capital.

Moody’s cited Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), Banco Comercial Português (BCP), Banco Espírito Santo (BES), Banco Santander Totta, Banco BPI, Caixa Económica Montepio Geral and Banco Internacional do Funchal (Banif).

According to Moody’s the “Bank Financial Strength Ratings” issued were affected by the credit profile of the country also on risk of a further downgrade by the agency.

Moody’s last downgraded ratings for the country’s banking sector was on April 6.

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