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Fitch revises Bank ABC’s outlook from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’ citing its solid risk framework, quality capital, sound liquidity, stable funding and competent management

MENA’s leading international bank, Bank ABC (Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C), is pleased to announce that Fitch Ratings has revised its Outlook to Stable from Negative, while affirming the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB+' and Viability Rating (VR) at 'bb+'.

Fitch notes a number of key strengths that Bank ABC continues to display:

  • Bank ABC’s asset quality and capitalisation are likely to absorb the risk of low and volatile oil prices and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at the current rating level.
  • Bank ABC’s VR reflects its geographical diversification, appropriate responses to risks (as demonstrated during the Brazilian crisis in 2016), capitalisation that is higher than peers', sound liquidity and stable funding.
  • Bank ABC’s franchise is solid due to its geographical footprint and wholesale-banking expertise - a well-respected brand that attracts large and high-quality clients.
  • The competent and prudent management team of Bank ABC, which not only conducts complex international transactions but has also stood firm in face of an enormous global crisis.

This outlook change to ‘Stable’ comes directly after Fitch's Annual Review of Bank ABC, revising the IDR of BB+ negative outlook announced on 8 September following the recent movement of Bahrain Sovereign to B+. Fitch notes that Bank ABC’s VR is not capped by Bahraini sovereign rating but is constrained at a maximum of three notches above it.

Earlier this year, both Capital Intelligence (CI) and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) reaffirmed Bank ABC’s investment grade ratings, recognising the Bank’s financial strength and resilience and its ability to withstand the extremely challenging conditions in its key markets.

“This quick revision to a Stable outlook by Fitch comes as a telling testament of our resilience as a Bank and proactiveness in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. We welcome their stated confidence in our risk management and strategic initiatives as we continue to navigate these deeply disrupting times,” remarks Dr. Khaled Kawan, Group CEO, Bank ABC.​​

Bank ABC is a leading player in the region’s banking industry, with a presence in 15 countries across five continents. It provides innovative global Wholesale Banking coverage & products that include Corporate & Financial Institutions coverage, Transaction Banking (Trade Finance & Cash Management), Project and Structured finance, Syndications, Treasury and Financial Markets products and Islamic Banking. It also provides retail-banking services through its network of retail banks in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and through ila Bank, its digital mobile-only bank, in Bahrain.​


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