Gulf International Bank gets ratings upgrade
Manama, October 7, 2013
Standard & Poors (S&P) has upgraded Gulf International Bank's (GIB) stand-alone credit profile to 'BBB' from 'BBB-' and it's rating outlook to positive from stable, said a report.
GIB is owned by the six GCC governments, with the public investment fund of Saudi Arabia holding a majority stake (97.2 per cent).
The long-term and short-term issuer credit ratings were affirmed at 'BBB+' / 'A-2' respectively.
S&P noted that a considerable portion of the bank's deposits are sourced from government-related entities, particularly from Saudi Arabia, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
S&P commented that they viewed positively the bank's new strategy to transform its business model by establishing retail banking operations in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC.
The agency explained that its rating assessment also derived from GIB's "very strong" capital and earnings, "adequate" risk position and "strong liquidity".
"This is a further independent validation of the actions taken over the last four years to restructure and transform the bank through the adoption of a new business strategy," GIB chief executive Dr Yahya Alyahya said.
"The upgrade reflects S&P's assessment of GIB on a stand-alone basis without shareholder support and reflects an improvement in its financial strength and risk profile".-TradeArabia News Service