Monday, Moody's Investor Service lowered the outlook for the bank financial strength ratings or BFSR of three Singapore banks to negative from stable. The banks include the DBS Bank Ltd, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd and the United Overseas Bank Ltd. The rating agency also lowered the outlook on the three banks' Aa1 long-term deposit and debt ratings to negative from stable.

Christine Kuo, Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst said, The negative outlooks of DBS, OCBC and UOB reflect the fact that the deepening global economic downturn could have a protracted impact on their asset quality and earnings.

However, the analyst noted that all three banks have strong franchises, healthy credit profiles, liquid and well-capitalized balance sheets, and benefit from a very high level of support from the Singapore government.

Consequently, even in a severe downside scenario, we would expect the banks' BFSRs to remain above average and their debt and deposit ratings to be solidly positioned within the Aa-rating band, the analyst added.

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