The international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has recently upgraded Arab Banking Corporation's (ABC) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (LT IDR) from “BB+” to “BBB-” and its Viability Rating (VR) from “bb+” to “bbb-.”
The agency explained in a public statement that “the upgrade of ABC's LT IDR and VR reflects the Bank's improved funding profile, continued resilient operating performance, strong capitalisation and healthy asset quality.”
Fitch added that in July 2012 and July 2013 ABC secured a total US$2 billion in five-year funding, enabling ABC to significantly lengthen its liabilities profile.
Reflecting on the VR of ABC, Fitch particularly stressed “the Bank's resilient operating performance, strong capitalisation and comfortable liquidity position.”
This positive development as a vindication of ABC’s efforts over the past few years to reinforce its balance sheet and liquidity with a view to better position the Bank to capture the next wave of growth opportunities in its markets.
In addition, this rating upgrade is solely driven by the intrinsic value of ABC’s franchise, without taking into account the solid and consistent support of our strong shareholders. It augurs well of the future of our businesses, as the current instability in a number of ABC’s MENA markets abates.
ABC is a leading player in the region’s banking industry and provides innovative wholesale financial products and services that include corporate banking, trade finance, project and structured finance, syndications, treasury products and Islamic banking. It also provides retail banking services through its network of retail banks in the MENA region.