On April 1, 2009 Fitch Ratings has placed its long-term issuer default ratings (IDRs) on Moscow Bank for Reconstruction and Development (MBRD) and Dalcombank (B+) on Rating Watch Negative, the agency’s press service reported. The rating action followed March 31’s placement of AFK Sistema’s long-term foreign currency IDR of BB- on Rating Watch Negative.

AFK Sistema is a major shareholder of MBRD and controls Dalcombank through the former. The lending institutions’ ratings reflect Fitch’s viewpoint AFK Sistema is strongly determined to provide support to these banks if required, although this determination is limited by AFK Sistema’s ability to do so," Fitch’s press service pointed out. Fitch will be prepared to withdraw the banks’ IDRs from Rating Watch Negative shortly after AFK Sistema is taken off this list.

According to the data from Banki.ru and news agency Interfax-CEA, as of January 1, 2009 net assets of Moscow Bank for Reconstruction and Development stood at Rub 118.6 bln (31st place in Russia), while Dalcombank’s net assets totaled Rub 15.76 bln (132nd place in Russia). Both lending institutions are members of the national deposit insurance system.