“As being the biggest bank in Romania, evolution of BCR and of its financial status is tightly linked to that of country’s payment capacity, from several reasons, one of them being BCR’s function as primary lender of local economy and the broad state securities portfolio held by the institution,” said Magar Kouyoumdjian, analyst at Standard &Poor’s.

Romania’s economy is overheated, and over-indebted lately, process fuelled by the major hike of non-government loans. This has set off a growth of indebtedness level in the private sector, which makes more vulnerable the quality of assets in the banking field, rating agency warned.

Standard&Poor’s announced on Monday it cut by one notch ratings assigned to Romania for long and short term credits in foreign currency from ‘BBB-A/-3’ to ‘BB+/B’ and for long-term credits in lei, from ‘BBB’ down to ‘BBB-‘.

Rating for transfer and convertibility was lowered to ‘BBB+’ from ‘A-‘. The decision removes Romania from the list labeled with “investment grade” granted by the agency.

Translated by Camelia Oancea