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Fitch upgrades Bank of Moscow to BBB following Moscow's upgrade

MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - Fitch Ratings upgraded the Bank of Moscow's Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to BBB from BBB- with a stable outlook, the international rating agency said Tuesday.

Fitch said the rating action followed the upgrade of the city of Moscow's IDR to BBB+ from BBB on Monday.

"The rating action reflects Fitch's view of the City of Moscow's improved capacity to support Bank of Moscow," Fitch said.

The Bank of Moscow, a full-service commercial bank operating nationwide and offering a comprehensive range of services to domestic and foreign corporate and retail clients, said Wednesday its pre-tax profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards had risen 46% year-on-year in the first half of 2006 to 3.8 billion rubles (about $140.7 million).

The bank, which is majority-owned by the Moscow government, said its shareholder equity calculated under the Central Bank's methodology had expanded 8% to 29.9 billion rubles (about $1.1 billion) as of July 1, 2006.

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