By Simon Miller
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the junk status of four of the largest Greek banks and removed the negative watch rating.
National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank Ergasias and Piraeus Bank were affirmed at "B-" a 'stable' rating which means the banks will not be downgraded in the short-term.
The actions follow the upgrade of Greece's sovereign rating to 'B-' from 'Restricted Default' and Fitch's revised judgement of external support for Greek banks' recapitalisation following the new private sector involvement (PSI Plus) debt exchange agreed in early March 2012.
"NBG's, Alpha's, Eurobank's and Piraeus' Long-term IDRs are on their Support Rating Floors and reflect Fitch's assumption that support from the IMF/EU in respect of Greek banks' recapitalisation is committed and ensured after Greece's debt restructuring and on the basis that they are viewed as viable banks," said Fitch.
The ratings agency added: "Fitch also believes the Bank of Greece and the ECB will continue to provide emergency liquidity assistance in a timely manner, as evidenced in the past weeks when Greece was downgraded to 'RD' and Greek government bonds lost their eligibility for ECB funding."