Motley Fool Australia

Why NAB (ASX:NAB) and other bank shares are on watch today

ASX bank share price represented by white Piggy Banks on green background
Image Source: Getty Images

ASX bank shares will be on watch today as credit ratings agency Fitch upgraded its outlook for two of the majors.

Why are ASX bank shares worth watching?

National Australia Bank Limited (ASX: NAB) last night provided a price-sensitive announcement after the market’s close. That update detailed Fitch Ratings’ revised outlook for the bank from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’.

According to the release, the change in ratings outlook “reflects Fitch’s view of the improved economic prospects in Australia”. Fitch affirmed both NAB and its New Zealand subsidiary, Bank of New Zealand’s, long-term issuer credit ratings at ‘A+’ and ‘F1’ for short-term.

However, NAB isn’t the only ASX bank share to watch today. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) provided a similar update early this morning.

Fitch has also revised the outlook on long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) for ANZ and ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’.

ANZ and ANZNZ’s long-term IDR remains at ‘A+’. According to the ANZ release, Fitch has “greater confidence that ANZ’s financial profile is likely to remain consistent with its current ratings over the next two years”.

Notably, the ratings agency expects “GDP to expand by 4.7% in 2021”. ASX bank shares like ANZ and NAB could be worth watching as investors take in the latest forecasts from the likes of Fitch.

However, there was a cautionary note that “downside remains”, particularly until vaccinations are complete. The ratings agency said that this downside risk has reduced significantly since early 2020.

Foolish takeaway

ASX bank shares will be worth watching following the Fitch revisions in the last 24 hours.

Both the NAB and ANZ share price have been climbing higher in 2021 amid growing investor optimism for an economic recovery. These two ASX bank shares have jumped 17.0% and 25.3%, respectively, so far this year.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has climbed 4.3% higher despite getting off to a slow start this week. The benchmark Aussie index edged 0.3% lower to 6,974.00 points at Monday’s close.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of February 15th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Related Articles…