12 July 2023: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bank ABC's Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB+' with a 'Stable Outlook' in addition to its Viability Rating at 'bb+' driven by the Bank's standalone strength.
The rating reaffirmation is underpinned by Bank ABC's 'adequate regional corporate franchise, geographical diversification, solid management, adequate capitalisation, healthy asset quality, well-managed liquidity and stable funding' according to Fitch Ratings.
Announcing the rating, Fitch noted that Bank ABC's risk appetite is reasonable across its diversified markets and its exposure to volatile markets is well-managed. With prudent underwriting standards, the Bank continues to focus on high-quality borrowers and short-term lending. The Bank's strengths are also reflected in its well-defined risk controls and healthy asset quality, with its stabilised loan quality across most of its operating environments.
Sael Al Waary, Group CEO of Bank ABC, remarked: “The reaffirmation by Fitch Ratings reflects Bank ABC's strengthened profitability, driven by the strong fundamentals that underpin our operations and the accelerated performance across our global network. We have been diligently executing our strategy with strong risk controls, while diversifying our portfolio mix and enhancing our offerings to create long-term value for our stakeholders. We remain prudent in underwriting as well as maintaining our rigorous focus on healthy asset quality, and will continue to build on our strengths and pursue our growth and transformation agenda to serve as a digitally-empowered, financial powerhouse in the region."
In other highlights, Fitch Ratings observed that Bank ABC has adequate capital ratio with a common equity Tier 1 ratio of 13.7% at the end of first quarter 2023, which is well above the regulatory minimum. Core capital accounted for a significant 84 per cent of the capital base as of end Q1 2023.
Other notable strengths of the Bank include stable funding profile and strong liquidity position.
One of MENA's leading international banks, Bank ABC recently won three awards at the Bonds, Loans & Sukuk (BLS) Middle East Awards, namely the Global Corporate Sukuk Deal of the Year and Aircraft Finance Deal of the Year for its landmark Sukuk deal with Air Lease Corporation (ALC), which marks the first corporate Sukuk issuance from North America, and the Metals & Mining Deal of the Year for the loan facilitated for Aluminium Bahrain (Alba). The Bank also continues to be recognised for its market-leading digital transformation programme and has recently been awarded the
'Top Innovations in Finance' award by Global Finance's prestigious Innovators Awards 2023.
Mr. Sael Al Waary
Group CEO of Bank ABC