Business News of Tue, 4 Aug 20150

Moody’s validates Access Bank’s credit ratings

Access Bank Plc, the parent company of Access Bank Ghana, with operations across major cities and commercial centres in Sub-Saharan Africa, the UK and China, has been assigned a first-time credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody's, a top three global leading rating agency, has assigned first-time foreign currency issuer and local currency deposit ratings of Ba3 with stable outlooks to Access Bank Plc.

It also assigned Access Bank a Counterparty Risk Assessment (CRA) of Ba3 (cr)/Not Prime (cr).

The ratings are underpinned by a b2 Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA), which measures an issuer’s standalone financial strength.

According to the agency, “Access Bank's b2 standalone profile reflects (1) solid asset quality metrics, underpinned by tangible improvements in loan underwriting standards and risk management in recent years; (2) robust capital and liquidity buffers, supported by sustainable internal capital generation; and (3) a stable liability structure predominantly funded with deposits.”

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The agency stated that these strengths are balanced against Nigeria's challenging operating environment, which takes into account the strong growth potential of the system and institutional and structural weaknesses, as well as the concentration risks on the Bank's books, including to the oil and gas industry.

The agency, however noted that Access Bank is very well positioned to weather the macroeconomic challenges and they expect its stand-alone credit profile to remain resilient.

Commenting on the news, the Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana, Mr Dolapo Ogundimu noted: “The Bank’s impressive ratings from both international and domestic rating agencies continue to assure all our stakeholders of our strong financial condition. This new rating demonstrates that the Bank’s Management has remained committed to best practice in the areas of corporate governance and risk management.”

According to Moody’s, the long-term deposit and issuer ratings of Ba3 reflects the Bank's Systematically Important Bank status in Nigeria as the 5th largest bank in the industry.

The Ba3 rating assigned to Access Bank is at the same level as the country’s sovereign rating, which is the highest any local bank in Nigeria could attain.

Source: GNA

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