Ratings agency Fitch has downgraded its outlook for Macquarie Bank to negative from stable, saying its earnings will come under pressure from the coronavirus-related economic downturn.
Fitch expects the bank’s business customers to have trouble repaying loans amid weak conditions from the coronavirus pandemic. High unemployment will add to the impact.
Bad loans may take six to 12 months to emerge, according to Fitch.
The risk of bad loans, coupled with low interest rates, would put pressure on earnings during the next two years, the agency said on Tuesday.
The downgrade does not affect Macquarie’s covered bonds.
Macquarie shares were trading higher by 1.11 per cent to $107.35 at 1152 AEST.
The bank’s share price has dipped by 22.13 per cent since January 1 amid a wider market downturn.
Macquarie has been contacted for comment.
Ratings agencies have reassessed institutions’ fortunes around the world following the coronavirus pandemic.
Fitch earlier this year downgraded Australia’s big four banks to A+ from AA-.