Announcements

GCR affirms African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A.’s rating of BB+(MZ); Outlook Negative.

Johannesburg, 20 June 2018 — Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the national scale ratings assigned to African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A. of BB+(MZ) and B(MZ) in the long term and short term respectively; with the outlook accorded as Negative. The ratings are valid until June 2019.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit ratings to African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A. (“BancABC Moҫambique”, “the bank”) based on the following key factors:

The ratings reflect BancABC Moҫambique’s moderately strong capitalisation and strengthening liquidity supported by access to funding from Atlas Mara Limited, the bank’s ultimate shareholder. However, the negative outlook is premised on weakening asset quality and the consequent pressure on capital and earnings, given the current modest reserve coverage. As such, non-performing loans (“NPL”) formation/increase and rate of internal capital generation will be key rating considerations over the rating horizon.

The bank maintained moderately strong capitalisation over the review period, supported by a de-risked balance sheet on the back of a contracted loan book. As such, the bank registered risk-weighted tier 1 and total capital ratios of 20.2% (FY16: 20.4%) and 24.4% (FY16: 24.0%) respectively, well above the regulatory minima. However, the bank’s very low (3.4% at FY17) internal capital generation rate and modest loan loss reserving mitigates these strengths.

The bank’s asset quality weakened in FY17, mainly attributable to non-performing loans of two large clients and a decline in the provisions coverage ratio of NPL exposures. In this regard, the gross NPL ratio increased to 22.0% at FY17 (FY16: 9.2%), with provisions covering 50.1% of NPLs at FY17, down from 93.5% at FY16. The bank is in the process of negotiating restructuring the NPLs. However, GCR views asset quality risks to remain elevated given challenging operating conditions.

BancABC Moҫambique’s liquidity profile improved over the review period, evidenced by the bank’s liquid assets (excluding the statutory reserve balance) to total assets ratio increasing to 41.6% at FY17 (FY16: 37.5%), underpinned by increased investment in Treasury Bills and government bonds. Liquidity risks are largely ameliorated by the high coverage of short-term funding by liquid assets (61.1% at FY17), and access to intergroup funding.

The bank continued to evidence weak earnings capacity, with post tax profit decreasing to MZN82.1m in FY17 (FY16: MZN136.4). Consequently, return on average assets (“ROaA”) and return on average equity (“ROaE”) decreased to 0.7% (FY16: 1.1%) and 3.8% (FY16: 6.9%), respectively.

BancABC Moҫambique’s focus on growing transactional banking, improving technology and developing extensive distribution channels, coupled with ongoing efforts to improve risk management practices were taken into consideration by GCR. However, sustainable success in its turnaround strategy may be challenged by increased economic, industry and regulatory risks.

Negative rating action may follow a further deterioration in asset quality, significant capital erosion and weaker liquidity metrics, amid adverse macroeconomic developments and business conditions within the domestic market. However, a sustainable improvement in earnings capacity and asset quality, while maintaining solid capitalisation and sound liquidity could trigger a positive rating action.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY
Initial rating (December 2004)
Long-term: BBB-(MZ); Short-term: A3(MZ)
Outlook: Stable
 
Last rating (June 2017)
Long-term: BB+(MZ); Short-term: B(MZ)
Outlook: Stable

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS    
Primary Analyst   Secondary Analyst
Simbarake Chimutanda   Nyasha Chikwengo
Credit Analyst   Credit Analyst
(011)784-1771   (011) 784-1771
simbarakec@globalratings.net   nyashac@globalratings.net
     
Committee Chairperson    
Matthew Pirnie    
Sector Head: Financial Institution Ratings    
(011) 784-1771    
matthewp@globalratings.net    

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Global Criteria for Rating Banks and Other Financial Institutions, updated March 2017

BancABC Moҫambique rating reports (2004-17)

RATING LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS

ALL GCR’S CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/UNDERSTANDING-RATINGS. IN ADDITION, GCR’S RATING SCALES AND DEFINITIONS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/RATINGS-INFO. GCR’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, PUBLICATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AT HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET.

SALIENT FEATURES OF ACCORDED RATINGS

GCR affirms that a.) no part of the rating process was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the ratings were based solely on the merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument being rated; and c.) such ratings were an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument.

African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A. participated in the rating process via face-to-face management meetings and other written correspondence. Furthermore, the quality of information received was considered adequate and has been independently verified where possible.

The credit ratings have been disclosed to African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A. with no contestation of the rating.

The information received from African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A. and other reliable third parties to accord the credit ratings included:

  • Audited financial results as at 31 December 2017 (and four years of comparative numbers);
  • Unaudited management accounts up to 31 May 2018;
  • Budgeted financial statements for 2018;
  • Latest internal and/or external audit report to management;
  • A breakdown of facilities available and related counterparties;
  • Corporate governance and enterprise risk framework;
  • Industry comparative data.

The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A. and therefore GCR has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS/ACRONYMS USED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS PER GCR’S FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS SECTOR GLOSSARY

Asset A resource with economic value that a company owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.
Asset Quality Refers primarily to the credit quality of a bank’s earning assets, the bulk of which comprises its loan portfolio, but will also include its investment portfolio as well as off balance sheet items. Quality in this context means the degree to which the loans that the bank has extended are performing (ie, being paid back in accordance with their terms) and the likelihood that they will continue to perform.
Audit Report A written opinion of an auditor (attesting to the financial statements’ fairness and compliance with generally accepted accounting principles).
Budget Financial plan that serves as an estimate of future cost, revenues or both.
Capital The sum of money that is invested to generate proceeds.
Capital Adequacy A measure of the adequacy of an entity’s capital resources in relation to its current liabilities and also in relation to the risks associated with its assets. An appropriate level of capital adequacy ensures that the entity has sufficient capital to support its activities and that its net worth is sufficient to absorb adverse changes in the value of its assets without becoming insolvent.
Corporate Governance Refers to the mechanisms, processes and relations by which corporations are controlled and directed, and is used to ensure the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of an entity to its stakeholders.
Credit Rating Agency An entity that provides credit rating services.
Credit Risk The possibility that a bond issuer or any other borrowers (including debtors/creditors) will default and fail to pay the principal and/or interest when due.
Debt An obligation to repay a sum of money. More specifically, it is funds passed from a creditor to a debtor in exchange for interest and a commitment to repay the principal in full on a specified date or over a specified period.
Diversification Spreading risk by constructing a portfolio that contains different investments, whose returns are relatively uncorrelated. The term also refers to companies which move into markets or products that bear little relation to ones they already operate in.
Equity Equity (or shareholders’ funds) is the holding or stake that shareholders have in a company. Equity capital is raised by the issue of new shares or by retaining profit.
Financial Institution An entity that focuses on dealing with financial transactions, such as investments, loans and deposits.
Financial Statements Presentation of financial data including balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flow, or any supporting statement that is intended to communicate an entity’s financial position at a point in time.
Impairment Reduction in the value of an asset because the asset is no longer expected to generate the same benefits, as determined by the company through periodic assessments.
Interest Scheduled payments made to a creditor in return for the use of borrowed money. The size of the payments will be determined by the interest rate, the amount borrowed or principal and the duration of the loan.
Liquid Assets Assets, generally of a short term, that can be converted into cash.
Liquidity The speed at which assets can be converted to cash. It can also refer to the ability of a company to service its debt obligations due to the presence of liquid assets such as cash and its equivalents. Market liquidity refers to the ease with which a security can be bought or sold quickly and in large volumes without substantially affecting the market price. 
Liquidity Risk The risk that a company may not be able to meet its financial obligations or other operational cash requirements due to an inability to timeously realise cash from its assets. Regarding securities, the risk that a financial instrument cannot be traded at its market price due to the size, structure or efficiency of the market.
Long-Term Not current; ordinarily more than one year.
Long-Term Rating Reflects an issuer’s ability to meet its financial obligations over the following three to five year period, including interest payments and debt redemptions. This encompasses an evaluation of the organisation’s current financial position, as well as how the position may change in the future with regard to meeting longer term financial obligations.
Margin The rate taken by the lender over the cost of funds, which effectively represents the entity’s profit and remuneration for taking the risk of the loan; also known as spread.
Maturity The length of time between the issue of a bond or other security and the date on which it becomes payable in full.
National Scale Rating Provides a relative measure of creditworthiness for rated entities only within the country concerned. Under this rating scale, a ‘AAA’ long term national scale rating will typically be assigned to the lowest relative risk within that country, which in most cases will be the sovereign state.
Performing Loan A loan is said to be performing if the borrower is paying the interest on it on a timely basis.
Provision The amount set aside or deducted from operating income to cover expected or identified loan losses.
Rating Outlook Indicates the potential direction of a rated entity’s rating over the medium term, typically one to two years. An outlook may be defined as: ‘Stable’ (nothing to suggest that the rating will change), ‘Positive’ (the rating symbol may be raised), ‘Negative’ (the rating symbol may be lowered) or ‘Evolving’ (the rating symbol may be raised or lowered).
Risk The chance of future uncertainty (i.e. deviation from expected earnings or an expected outcome) that will have an impact on objectives.
Risk Management Process of identifying and monitoring business risks in a manner that offers a risk/return relationship that is acceptable to an entity’s operating philosophy.
Securities Various instruments used in the capital market to raise funds.
Security An asset deposited or pledged as a guarantee of the fulfilment of an undertaking or the repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in case of default.
Shareholder An individual, entity or financial institution that holds shares or stock in an organisation or company.
Short-Term Current; ordinarily less than one year.
Short-Term Rating An opinion of an issuer’s ability to meet all financial obligations over the upcoming 12 month period, including interest payments and debt redemptions.
Tier 2 Capital Secondary capital is mainly made up of subordinated debt, portfolio impairment and 50% of any revaluation reserves and other specified regulatory deductions.

For a detailed glossary of terms please click here.

GCR affirms African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique) S.A.’s rating of BB+(MZ); Outlook Negative.

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