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Fitch Ratings has downgraded Morocco-based Attijariwafa Bank (BVC:ATW), Bank of Africa (BVC:BOA) and Credit Immobilier Et Hotelier's (BVC:CIH) Long-Term Foreign-Currency and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to 'BB' with a Stable Outlook from 'BB+' with a Negative Outlook. Fitch has also revised down the three banks' Support Rating Floors (SRFs) to 'BB' from 'BB+', while affirming their Support Ratings at '3'. The National Ratings and Viability Ratings (VRs) are unaffected by this rating action.

A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.

The rating actions follow the downgrade of Morocco's sovereign rating to 'BB+' from 'BBB-' on 23 October 2020 in light of the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Morocco's economy and public and external finances (see "Fitch Downgrades Morocco to 'BB+'", published 23 October 2020, available on www.fitchratings.com).

 

Fitch expects the Moroccan economy to contract by 6.5% in 2020, while general government (GG) debt is expected to rise to 68.5% of GDP in 2021 from 56.4% of GDP in 2019, and to remain stable in 2022. The authorities aim to limit the deterioration in public finances, but a persistent impact from the pandemic on the budget and plans to expand social services amid an increase in unemployment will complicate debt-stabilisation efforts. Fitch believes there are downside risks to macroeconomic performance and public finances from a resurgence in domestic and global coronavirus infections and uncertainty surrounding the future course of the health crisis.

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