International rating agency S&P Global Ratings has revised its outlook for Alfa Bank's long-term local currency and foreign currency rating from stable to positive, S&P said in a press release.

Meanwhile, the bank's long-term and short-term ratings were affirmed at BB/B.

The upgrade of the rating outlook reflects the agency's opinion that Alfa Bank has maintained in the previous years a much higher risk profile that proved to be more stable than the one of its rivals despite continuing difficulties in the Russian economy. The agency believes that the bank's credit expenses will be around 1.7% in 2017-2018 and most likely will be lower than the system average by 3.5-4.5%, the agency noted in a press release.

"It's important for us that S&P improved its outlook just for Alfa Bank, and this was not attributed either to the revised outlook for Russia's sovereign rating or revised outlooks for other banks. This shows S&P's professional and individual approach towards market participants," Alfa Bank's deputy CFO Svetlana Demyashkevich told