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ABB-nin reytinq proqnozu "Stabil"dən "Pozitiv"ə qalxdı

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ABB-nin reytinq proqnozu "Stabil"dən "Pozitiv"ə qalxdı

Fitch Reytinq Agentliyi ABB-nin reytinqlərinə yenidən baxıb.

Marja xəbər verir ki, Agentlik Bankın reytinq proqnozunu "Stabil"dən "Pozitiv"ə qaldırıb. ABB-nin Dayanıqlılıq reytinqi və Emitentin uzunmüddətli defolt reytinqi “BB-” səviyyəsində təsdiqlənib.

Agentliyin rəyində qeyd edilir ki, ABB-nin reytinqlərinə "Pozitiv" proqnozun verilməsi Bankın daxili kredit gücü ilə bağlıdır. Mövcud reytinqləri ABB-nin etibarlı balans strukturunu, sağlam maliyyə göstəricilərini və yerli bazardakı güclü mövqeyini əks etdirir.   

ABB Azərbaycanın ən böyük bankıdır. 2023-cü ilin birinci yarısında sektordakı aktivlərin 26%-i, ölkədəki ümumi bank kreditlərinin 20%-i ABB-yə aid olub. Balans strukturu ABB aktivlərinin üstün keyfiyyətinə və Bankın dayanıqlı gəlirliliyinə əsas yaradır, еləcə də Bank üçün güclü kapital və likvidlik buferinə çevrilir.

XXX

Fitch Revises International Bank of Azerbaijan to Positive; Affirms at 'BB-'

Fitch Ratings has revised OJSC International Bank of Azerbaijan's (IBA) Outlook to Positive from Stable. The bank's Viability Rating (VR) and Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) have been affirmed at 'bb-' and 'BB-', respectively. A full list of rating actions is below.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

IBA's ratings are driven by its intrinsic credit strength, as measured by its VR of 'bb-'. The VR captures the bank's solid balance-sheet structure, robust financial metrics and strong domestic franchise. These are counterbalanced by IBA's exposure to the emerging, oil-dependent and dollarized Azerbaijani economy. The assigned VR is one notch below the implied rating of 'bb' due to the negative effect of the business profile.

The Positive Outlook on the bank's IDRs reflects Fitch's expectations that IBA will benefit from a favourable operating environment in terms of revenue generation and business volumes.

Banking Sector Improving: Fitch has revised the Outlook on the 'b+' operating environment score for Azerbaijani banks to positive from stable. This captures our expectation that the financial stability in a highly cyclical Azerbaijani economy will continue to improve, due to stronger financial profiles of domestic banks and tighter regulatory oversight. The latter is also leading to a moderation of legacy asset-quality risks.

Strong Franchise; State-Ownership: IBA is the largest bank in Azerbaijan, making up 26% of sector assets and 20% of sector loans at end-1H23. This results in the bank's strong domestic franchise and considerable pricing power. IBA is 96% state-owned.

Robust Asset Structure: At end-1H23, net loans made up just 33% of total assets, while non-loan exposures are mostly of at least 'BB+' credit quality. This balance-sheet structure translates into IBA's asset quality and profitability being more resilient than domestic peers, as well as into solid capital and liquidity buffers. For these reasons, and due to IBA's large domestic market shares, Fitch rates IBA one notch above the operating environment score.

Reasonable Loan Quality Ratios: IBA's impaired loans (Stage 3 loans under IFRS 9) equalled a modest 4.3% of gross loans at end-1H23 and were 1x covered by total loan loss allowances. Stage 2 loans added another 0.9%. Fitch believes the largest corporate exposures are adequately classified and provisioned. We expect the impaired loan ratio to remain below 5% in 2023-2024, although elevated loan growth may result in a higher cost of risk, due to portfolio seasoning.

Superior Profitability: The bank's annualised net interest income rose to 4.9% of average earning assets (including cash and cash equivalents) in 1H23 (2022: 3.9%). Coupled with good operating efficiency (cost/income ratio was 41%), this led to a strong pre-impairment profit, covering a high 11% of average gross loans. As a result, IBA's annualised operating profit/risk-weighted assets (RWAs) ratio was a high 6.4% in 1H23 (2022: 6.6%). We expect the bank's operating profitability to moderate in the medium term, but to remain strong.

Solid Capital Buffer: IBA's Fitch Core Capital (FCC) ratio was a high 30% at end-1H23, down from 32% at end-2022. We expect IBA's FCC ratio to reduce towards 24% in the medium term due to fast loan growth (we estimate 30% in 2023 and 25% in 2024) and considerable dividend pay-outs.

Concentrated Funding, Ample Liquidity: The bank is mostly deposit-funded (end-1H23: 87% of total liabilities). Single-name deposit concentration is very high, with an outsized contribution from state-owned corporates (end-1H23: 60% of total deposits), but we view these depositors as stable and core. IBA's liquidity buffer is substantial in both local and foreign currencies, as reflected by a gross loans/customer deposits ratio of 46%.

RATING SENSITIVITIES

Factors that Could, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Negative Rating Action/Downgrade

The Outlook on IBA could be revised to Stable due to either of the following:

- A renewed material loan-quality pressure, for example, stemming from fast expected loan growth;

- A significant moderation of capital/liquidity buffers due to a combination of fast growth and large dividend pay-outs.

Factors that Could, Individually or Collectively, Lead to Positive Rating Action/Upgrade

IBA's ratings upgrade would result from continuous improvement of the Azerbaijani economic environment, and IBA's extended record of business model stability and reasonable quality of newly issued loans.

An upgrade of Azerbaijan's sovereign rating (BB+/Positive) would not automatically trigger an upgrade of IBA's ratings.

OTHER DEBT AND ISSUER RATINGS: KEY RATING DRIVERS

IBA's senior unsecured debt is rated 'BB-', in line with its Long-Term IDR, as the likelihood of default on these obligations reflects the likelihood of default of the bank.

OTHER DEBT AND ISSUER RATINGS: RATING SENSITIVITIES

The senior unsecured debt rating is sensitive to changes in IBA's Long-Term IDR.

VR ADJUSTMENTS

The operating environment score of 'b+' is below the 'bb' category implied score because of the following adjustment reasons: regulatory and legal framework (negative) and financial market development (negative).

The business profile score of 'bb-' is above the 'b & below' category implied score because of the following adjustment reason: market position (positive).

The asset quality score of 'bb' is above the 'b & below' category implied score because of the following adjustment reason: non-loan exposures (positive).

REFERENCES FOR SUBSTANTIALLY MATERIAL SOURCE CITED AS KEY DRIVER OF RATING

The principal sources of information used in the analysis are described in the Applicable Criteria.

16.10.2023 15:08

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