Moody upgrades GIB deposit rating

ABU DHABI — Moody's Investors Service has upgraded long-term deposit rating of Gulf International Bank (GIB) to A3 from Baa1.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2005, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:48 PM

The upgraded rating reflects a material improvement in the bank's earnings quality and risk profile.

However, the bank's P-2 short-term deposit rating and C- Financial Strength Rating (FSR) remain unchanged. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

According to Moody's, the upgrade is the result of the strengthening of GIB's regional merchant banking franchise in the Middle East and the consequent improvement in earnings quality, as well as the improvement in the bank's credit risk profile. In Moody's view, these developments have positioned GIB more solidly in the C- FSR category, translating into a higher deposit rating.

Moody's notes that GIB retains its leading position as a provider of project and structured finance to businesses and governments of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states, within the context of growing business volumes and more intense competition.

The bank is also expanding its investment banking and asset management businesses, which will increasingly contribute to earnings diversification.

Moody's also refers to the ongoing improvement in GIB's credit risk profile, whereby international, non-relationship lending and high yield securities have been replaced by better quality loans in the GCC and by investment grade securities, reducing the bank's provisioning requirement.

Moody's points out that enhanced earnings quality, in conjunction with reduced credit risk has improved the creditworthiness of GIB, justifying the upgrade.

Moody's adds that GIB's A3/Prime-2/C- ratings remain constrained by a moderate, albeit improving liquidity profile and modest profitability in absolute terms.

The A3 deposit rating implies the likelihood of support from the bank's shareholders, namely the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and the six AGCC states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, GIB had total assets of $20.68 billion as at the end of June 2005.

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