S&P raised Santander’s short-term rating to A-2 (“investment grade”) and its long-term rating to BBB, the statement added.

Santander’s ratings are the highest among banks assessed in Portugal, which during the crisis remained focused on the “reduction of strong exposure to non-performing loans,” while Santander can “strengthen” its commercial and financial profiles “even further,” according to the note.

Santander’s rating comes after Portugal’s rating was raised from BBB- to BBB in a note released late last week.