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Banco Macro’s Ratings Unaffected by Acquisition of Banco Itau Argentina

Fitch Ratings-New York-03 November 2023: Banco Macro S.A.’s (Macro, ‘CCC-’) ratings are unchanged following the announcement that it has received approval from the Central Bank of Argentina to purchase 100% of the capital stock and voting shares of Banco Itau Argentina S.A. and the shares of Itau Asset Management S.A. and Itau Valores S.A, according to Fitch Ratings.
On Aug. 24, 2023, Macro previously announced an agreement to acquire 100% of the capital stock of Itau Unibanco Holding S.A.’s operations in Argentina.

The size of the acquisition is relatively small for Macro (the purchase price is expected to be USD50 million) and thus will not have a significant impact on the bank’s ample capitalization (CET 1/RWA ratio of 33% as of June 2023), nor its comfortable liquidity ratios (the bank’s liquid assets represent about 95% of its total deposits. Banco Itau Argentina’s total assets represents about 17% of Macro’s total assets as of June 30, 2023. Fitch believes the purchase fits well into Macro’s consolidation growth strategy as one of the most important corporate and SMEs-oriented banks in Argentina.

Macro is a universal bank, which focuses on low and middle-income, individuals and small and midsized entities (SMEs). The bank also provides financial agency services to four provincial governments. Macro has been one of the largest domestic privately-owned banks in Argentina. It has the largest branch presence in the country with the majority of those branches located outside of Buenos Aires (a differentiation among other players). With this purchase Macro consolidates its position as the largest private bank in Argentina with 567 branches and over 6 million clients and doubles Macro’s presence in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan region.

Macro’s Foreign and Local Currency Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings of ‘CCC-‘ are driven by its Viability Rating of ‘ccc-‘, which is capped by Argentina’s weak operating environment score of ‘ccc-‘.

Source: Fitchrating