BBK, Bahrain’s pioneer in retail and commercial banking, has had its rating affirmed at A- for Long Term Issuer Default Rating “IDR” and at A for Foreign – Currency Long-Term IDR with stable outlook by Fitch, the international credit rating agency. The individual rating stands at C/D with stable outlook, which reflects the bank’s significant domestic franchise and the bank’s adequate capitalization.
The announcement comes after the Bank reported a net profit of BD 35.0 million for the year ended 31 December 2009 compared to BD 27.1 million in 2008 (an increase of 29.3%) and proved its ability to generate revenues despite the adverse market conditions and economic slowdown.
This international vote of confidence to the Bank is attributed to BBK’s diversified revenue streams, its position as a pillar in the Banking sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as well as its innovative drive to accelerate business growth in new areas and markets.
Commenting on the Fitch report, BBK Chief Executive A.Karim Bucheery, said, “We are pleased with this credit rating update, in such downturn market environment, which is obviously a strong signal to our stakeholders that the Bank continues to perform strongly despite of international economic meltdown. Fitch’s appreciation of BBK’s contribution to Bahrain’s banking sector and hence the support it would receive if needed by Bahraini authorities further reaffirms our strong franchise and by the same our commitment to continuing this tradition of diversifying and innovating our offering to maintain the leading position in the market and achieve high shareholder value.”
The Bank was able to sustain a comfortable liquidity position and capital adequacy ratio through growing customer deposits, which demonstrates customers’ confidence in the Bank in spite of the prevailing sentiment of uncertainty during 2009.
The strong performance of CrediMax, BBK’s credit card subsidiary and the leading credit card issuer in Bahrain further supports the strength of BBK’s retail banking franchise.