29 June 2014

Nigeria: Agusto Upgrades Access Bank Credit Rating

Lagos — International rating agency, Agusto & Co, has in its latest ratings, upgraded Access Bank from "A" to "A+" with a stable outlook. The rating cements Access Bank's position as a Systematically Important Banking Institution in Nigeria and reflects the full synergy of the merger with Intercontinental Bank Plc.

According to the report as issued by Agusto & Co, Access Bank achieved this by actualizing a good liquidity position, satisfactory capitalization as well as improved risk management framework which had a positive impact on asset quality.

The rating agency stated in their report that the Bank's extensive network of 310 branches and cash centres has created improved visibility among the banking population and has translated to a significant market share across the key market indicators. NPLs to gross loans ratio stood at 2.4 percent - the lowest recorded in the last five years and compares favorably with the industry average of 3.6 percent.

The report further states that 'Access Bank's improved rating further corroborates the Bank's enhanced capacity to execute larger transactions as well as access long-term funding from local and foreign multilateral agencies and institutions'. This was further confirmed in the successful tier II capital of $400 million Eurobond recently raised by the Bank.

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