GIB wins key currency ratings from agency
Manama, June 25, 2013
Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank's (GIB) long-term and short-term foreign currency ratings have been affirmed at 'A' and 'A1' respectively by Capital Intelligence (CI).
The international credit rating agency said the bank's financial strength rating is also maintained at 'BBB+', reported the Gulf daily News, our sister publication.
All ratings have been assigned a stable outlook.
The short-term rating of 'A1' is the highest rating granted by Capital Intelligence.
The 'A1' short-term rating is defined by the agency as reflecting superior credit quality and the highest capacity for timely repayment of short-term financial obligations that is extremely unlikely to be affected by unexpected adversities.
The rating agency said that GIB's exceptionally strong and supportive ownership remains a key ratings driver and accordingly the support level of '1' was affirmed.
"The ratings reflect GIB's solid capital adequacy, strong liquidity, diversifying sources of funds, and sound asset quality," CI said.
It noted that the bank's strong capital position provides a well-founded basis for expansion, ongoing investment in retail banking and a strong buffer against eventualities.
"The bank's liquidity has remained strong, with liquid assets held largely in the form of short-term bank placements and to a lesser extent, high rated debt securities," it said.
"Sources of funding continued to diversify and concentration risks are improving. In addition, funding risks have reduced as a result of actions taken in recent years to lengthen the maturity profile of liabilities and to reduce maturity mismatches," it added.
"We regard this as a clear endorsement of our business strategy and the actions we have taken to restructure the bank over the last four years," GIB chief executive Dr Yahya A Alyahya said.
"The bank's efforts to deleverage and de-risk the balance sheet have significantly strengthened GIB's financial position and enhanced its capital adequacy ratios. "This has created a strong foundation upon which the new retail bank can be developed," he added. – TradeArabia News Service