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Moody's Assigns Ratings to Montenegro's Atlasmont Banka

Moody's Assigns Ratings to Montenegro's Atlasmont Banka

PODGORICA (Montenegro), March 9 (SeeNews) - Moody's Investors Service said on Monday it has assigned B1/Not-Prime foreign currency deposit ratings and an E+ Bank Financial Strength Rating (BFSR) to Montenegro's private commercial bank Atlasmont Banka.

”All ratings carry a stable outlook,” Moody’s said in a statement.

Atlasmont's E+ BFSR translates into a Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) of B2 and reflects its adequate historic financial fundamentals, with a capitalisation ratio of 14.3% as of September 2008, adequate liquidity and a profitable income statement for each of the past six years, the statement said.

Deteriorating macroeconomic conditions have, however, created additional challenges for Atlasmont - especially with regard to funding, asset quality and earnings - which will be closely monitored going forward, Moody’s said.

“The rating also reflects the relatively high credit concentrations, the bank's still developing risk management systems and corporate governance culture, and its narrow franchise.”

“However, despite its small size and declining market share, Atlasmont maintains a nationwide branch network and a 5% market share, with management having the opportunity to consolidate its market position after foreign-owned banks halted their aggressive balance sheet growth.” 

Atlasmont Banka is the seventh biggest bank by assets among the 12 banks operating in the Adriatic country, according to end-September data. Headquartered in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica, Atlasmont Banka's assets totaled 164.9 million euro ($208 million) at the end of September.

“The bank's long-term foreign currency deposit rating is B1, which incorporates a one-notch uplift from the B2 BCA and is based on Moody's assessment that there is a moderate probability that the Montenegrin authorities would support Atlasmont in a period of financial distress,” Moody’s said.

($ = 0.7915 euro)