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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank’s rating affirmed at ‘AA(lka)’/Stable

Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank’s rating affirmed at ‘AA(lka)’/Stable

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Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank’s National Long-Term rating has been affirmed at ‘AA(lka)’ by Fitch Ratings.
The outlook is Stable.

The agency has also affirmed CB’s subordinated debentures at ‘AA-(lka)’

Fitch says , the ratings reflect CB’s solid domestic franchise, improved capitalization and high core profitability.

The agency also says the ratings may be upgraded upon a sustained improvement in the bank’s balance sheet in terms of greater capital buffers including loan loss provisions.

Conversely, a rating downgrade may result from a significant decline in CB’s asset quality such as due to an economic downturn that could put pressure on its earnings and capitalization added Fitch in a release issued.

Below is the full media release issued by the Fitch.

Fitch Ratings-Colombo/Mumbai/Singapore-26 July 2012:
Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC’s (CB) National Long-Term rating at ‘AA(lka)’ with a Stable Outlook. The agency has also affirmed CB’s subordinated debentures at ‘AA-(lka)’.

The ratings reflect CB’s solid domestic franchise, improved capitalization and high core profitability. The ratings may be upgraded upon a sustained improvement in the bank’s balance sheet in terms of greater capital buffers including loan loss provisions. Conversely, a rating downgrade may result from a significant decline in CB’s asset quality such as due to an economic downturn that could put pressure on its earnings and capitalization.

Fitch Ratings-Colombo/Mumbai/Singapore-26 July 2012: Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC’s (CB) .The agency has also affirmed CB’s subordinated debentures at ‘AA-(lka)’.

The ratings reflect CB’s solid domestic franchise, improved capitalization and high core profitability. The ratings may be upgraded upon a sustained improvement in the bank’s balance sheet in terms of greater capital buffers including loan loss provisions. Conversely, a rating downgrade may result from a significant decline in CB’s asset quality such as due to an economic downturn that could put pressure on its earnings and capitalization.

Fitch Ratings-Colombo/Mumbai/Singapore-26 July 2012: Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC’s (CB) National Long-Term rating at ‘AA(lka)’ with a Stable Outlook. The agency has also affirmed CB’s subordinated debentures at ‘AA-(lka)’.

The ratings reflect CB’s solid domestic franchise, improved capitalization and high core profitability. The ratings may be upgraded upon a sustained improvement in the bank’s balance sheet in terms of greater capital buffers including loan loss provisions. Conversely, a rating downgrade may result from a significant decline in CB’s asset quality such as due to an economic downturn that could put pressure on its earnings and capitalization.

CB’s Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio (CAR) has remained above 10% since 2007, and a rights issue of LKR4.8bn lifted the ratio to 12.1% at end-2011. The increase in equity has also been supported by a further increase in revaluation reserves, which had not been factored into its total CAR of 13% at end-2011. Fitch expects CB’s capitalization to remain healthy supported by its high core profitability, greater profit retention and modest growth plans.

CB continues to sustain high core profitability (measured by pre-provision return on assets (2011: 3.5%), largely due to its lean operating cost structure.

Loan growth (12.2% from 2007-2011) has been modest compared with that of the sector (14.1%). SMEs and mid-sized corporates (end-2011: 42%, end-2010: 33%) dominates CB’s loan book while it has been reducing its exposure to the consumer/retail segments (end-2011: 28%, end-2010: 31%). Fitch believes that downside risks are present particularly in interest-sensitive segments (consumer/retail and SMEs/ mid-sized corporates) as well as in those susceptible to a global economic slowdown and external sector pressures.

While specific provision coverage on NPLs has been rising (end-2011: 40%; end-2010: 34%), bolstered by additional provisions made on a prudential basis, it remained below that of some similar rated private commercial bank peers.

CB’s funding stability is underpinned by its high share of current and savings accounts (end-2011: 52%) compared with similar rated larger private commercial bank peers (41%), which should cushion net interest margins in a rising interest rate scenario.

Established in 1969 but tracing its origins to 1920, CB is the third-largest bank in Sri Lanka, accounting for 10.4% of banking sector assets at end-2011. It had a network of 213 branches and 514 ATMs as at end-2011. CB is one of the few banks in Sri Lanka that have substantial overseas operations. Its 17 branches in Bangladesh contributed 11% to net income and 7% to assets.

http://www.news360.lk/business-finance/26-7-12-sri-lankas-commercial-banks-rating-affirmed-at-aalkastable-23456

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