The Fitch Ratings agency has affirmed Banco General's risk rating at BBB-, with a negative outlook.
Fitch considers that Banco General has weathered the crisis with a relatively strong position, although it points out that the risks generated by the operating environment remain and may affect the quality of the portfolio and profitability, which is reflected in the negative outlook for the grade
The rating and the outlook remain at the same level as they were in February. Following the downgrade of the sovereign rating from BBB to BBB-, Fitch Ratings downgraded Banco General's rating by two notches, from BBB + to BBB-.
According to the agency, the ratings are highly influenced by the banking operating environment in Panama. In his opinion, the strong contraction in 2020 and the increase in unemployment put pressure on the operating environment of the country and, therefore, on financial institutions.
After the strong contraction in 2020, a recovery is expected this year, although the agency points to the second half of the year, as financial relief measures are lifted, such as when it will be possible to have clarity about the real impact of the new coronavirus crisis in the financial profiles of banks.
The agency notes that the bank's rating is also influenced by a strong position in all business lines, highlighting a market share of 18.5% in local loans and 20.8% in deposits in the first quarter of 2021.