International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has announced that it upgraded Garanti Bank's Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) from "BBB-" to "BBB," Short term IDRs from "F3" to "F2" and National Rating from "AA+" to "AAA," according to a statement on Fitch's official website. Moreover, the agency also stated that all ratings were removed from Rating Watch Positive.
The upgraded ratings stemmed from the change in control at Garanti Bank that occurred as a result of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) purchasing an additional 14.89 percent from Doğuş Holding, said Fitch.
Fitch mentioned that the BBVA has gained management control of the bank despite holding only a 39.9 percent stake; Garanti will henceforth be fully consolidated into the BBVA's accounts. "Garanti's IDRs, National Rating and Support Rating have been upgraded because Fitch believes the BBVA would provide support to its subsidiary, if required," emphasized the statement.
BBVA CEO Francisco Gonzales said on Nov. 27, 2014 that it was the right decision to purchase a majority of shares in Garanti Bank. He said, "this is one of the biggest and most significant investments the BBVA has made for the future." Referring to Garanti Bank as "the best bank in the country," Gonzales added that they are not afraid of tensions in the region and are prepared for such uncertainties because they have "knowledge of Turkey."