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Fitch revises outlook on People's Leasing to negative

Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlook on Sri Lanka-based People's Leasing & Finance PLC's (PLC) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to Negative, from Stable, and has affirmed the ratings at 'B-'.

This follows the 24 April 2020 downgrade of Sri Lanka's sovereign rating to 'B-', from 'B', with a Negative Outlook to reflect the impact of the escalating coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Fitch forecasts Sri Lanka's economy to contract by 1.0% in 2020, from 2.3% growth in 2019, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our base-case scenario assumes that any economic recovery later this year will be gradual, with limited growth prospects for the non-bank financial institutions (NBFI) sector through 2020 and 2021. We expect NBFIs' financial profiles to come under strain from a more challenging operating environment, and for their key credit metrics to be weaker than our previous expectations, notwithstanding regulatory relief," Fitch Ratings said.

The Negative Outlook reflects the increased risk to the company's financial profile from the pandemic and our assessment that the sovereign's weakened credit profile could constrain PLC's rating if it deteriorates further.

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