The Bulgarian Credit Rating Agency (BCRA) upgrades Postbank's Long-Term Rating from BBB- to BBB while maintaining a short-term rating of A-3, thus leveling it with that of the country, and changing the outlook to "stable". Furthermore, it also raises its Long-Term Rating on a national scale from A+ (BG) to AA- (BG) and raises its Short-Term Rating on a National Scale from A-1 (BG) to A-1 + (BG), thus valuating highly the bank's stable position among the leading institutions in the country. The latest recognition of the bank's activity is based on the strong operational results and the stable leadership position of the financial institution in the banking sector, backed up by a number of qualitative and quantitative criteria and indicators, the BCRA position from 30 June 2021 reads.
The upgrade of Postbank's long-term rating from A+ to AA- with a stable outlook reaffirms the overall positive impact on Postbank's balance sheet and operations in the first year, the high operating results achieved, the consistent improvement of the loan portfolio quality and the systemic sustainable position of the bank among the leading institutions in the sector according to a number of qualitative and quantitative criteria and indicators. The BACR emphasizes that the significant comparative advantage of the bank in most indicators of revenue quality and return is strengthened.
BCRA's high assessment acknowledges that given the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis of 2020 and its effect on small and medium businesses, Postbank has been actively involved in various programmes to support this economic segment, including signing agreements with the Bulgarian Development Bank and the EIF (JEREMIE and COSME), taking into account their future effect, which is expected to be rolled out in 2021.
The upgrade of the financial institution's rating is another proof that Postbank is characterized by a very well diversified corporate loan portfolio by industries without concentration or significant exposure to risky industries, greatly affected by the current pandemic situation. The BCRA points out that during the review period the levels of the bank's liquidity indicators remained stable and continued to position it favourably in terms of its exposure to liquidity risk.
Postbank has established itself among the leaders in the banking system of the country with growth of attracted funds and assets, the BACR assessment points out. The rating agency also notes that the bank's operating result reported for 2020 has 18.9 percent growth rate, which is more than two times higher than the one reported for the previous 2019 (7.7 percent).
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The BCRA is the third full rating agency in the EU, registered under Regulation № 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The credit ratings awarded by the BCRA are valid throughout the EU and are completely equal to those of other recognized by the European Securities and Markets Authority, without territorial or other restrictions.