Announcements

GCR affirms MBCA Bank Limited’s rating of A(ZW); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 28 April 2017 — Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has affirmed MBCA Bank Limited’s long-term and short-term national scale ratings of A(ZW) and A1(ZW) respectively; with the outlook accorded as Stable.

SUMMARY RATINGS RATIONALE

The ratings of MBCA Bank Limited (“MBCA”, “the bank”) reflect its resilient financial performance despite a challenging operating environment (characterised by weak economic activity, and cash and foreign currency shortages), strong liquidity and capital adequacy metrics, and increasing, albeit small, market share. However, GCR notes the deterioration in the bank’s gross non-performing loan (“NPL”) ratio over the past five years (FY12: 1.5%; FY16: 7.1%), mainly due to minimal loan growth given the prevailing economic climate.

The ratings are underpinned by demonstrated risk management oversight and technical support from Nedbank Group Limited (“Nedbank”, “the group”), given its controlling stake in the bank.

The bank’s risk-weighted capital adequacy ratio (“RWCAR”) was 27.2% at FY16 (FY15: 25.2%) comfortably above the regulatory minimum ratio of 12%. The RWCAR increased as a result of core capital growth of 16% to USD47.9m at FY16, through retained earnings, remaining well above the regulatory minimum of USD25m.

The bank’s gross NPL ratio increased to 7.1% at FY16 (FY15: 6.2%), but still remained below the industry average of 7.9%. NPLs increased in FY16 largely due to the underperformance of a single corporate client, which constituted approximately 3.5% of gross loans at FY16. That, combined with the bank’s conservative provisioning policy, saw arrears coverage (by specific provisions) increase to 60.6% at FY16 (FY15: 27.3%). Consequently, net NPLs amounted to 5.6% of total regulatory capital at FY16 (FY15: 11%). Looking ahead, the implementation of IFRS 9 in 2018 is expected to result in higher provisions and impairment charges, which may negatively impact profitability.

Despite its retail growth strategy, the bank’s funding profile continues to be supported by its large corporate deposit book (40.9% of customer deposits at FY16), and remains susceptible to external shocks, given its exposure to potentially volatile wholesale deposits. To manage liquidity risk, the bank maintains high levels of liquidity. This is evidenced by the prudential liquidity ratio which was well above the statutory minimum of 30%.

Despite net interest and non-interest income growth of 1.8% and 16.9% respectively, the bank’s net profit before tax (“NPBT”) declined by 11.4% from USD7.8m in FY15 to USD7m in FY16, given higher operating expenses (8.1%) and impairment charges (5x). As a result, the ROaA and ROaE decreased to 2.1% and 12.4% respectively in FY16 (FY15: 2.7% and 14.5%).

GCR sees limited scope for an upward movement of the bank’s ratings, in light of the difficult operating environment. However, sustained improvements in the bank’s credit profile, earnings power and capitalisation, resulting in enhanced resilience to a volatile operating environment, could positively impact the bank’s ratings.

A weakened shareholder support floor will negatively affect the ratings. Furthermore, a continued weakening of the bank’s asset quality metrics, lower earnings and capital strain, or a subsequent deterioration in the bank’s liquidity and solvency indicators, would exert downward pressure on the bank’s ratings.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY    
     
Initial rating (August 2007)   Last rating (April 2016)
Long term: A(ZW); Short term: A1(ZW)   Long term: A(ZW); Short term: A1(ZW)
Outlook: Stable   Outlook: Stable
     

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst   Secondary Analyst
Kurt Boere   Vimbai Muhwati
Credit Analyst   Junior Credit Analyst
(011) 784-1771   (011) 784-1771
boere@globalratings.net   vimbaim@globalratings.net
     
Committee Chairperson    
Jennifer Mwerenga    
Senior Credit Analyst    
(011) 784-1771    
Jennifer@globalratings.net    

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Global Criteria for Rating Banks and Other Financial Institutions (March 2017)

MBCA rating reports (2007-16)

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 ratings were 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.

MBCA Bank Limited participated in the rating process via face-to-face management meetings, teleconferences 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 MBCA Bank Limited with no contestation of the ratings.

The information received from MBCA Bank Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit ratings included:

  • Audited financial results as at 31 December 2016 (and four years of comparative numbers)
  • Budgeted financial statements for 2017
  • 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, MBCA Bank Limited, 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 GLOSSARY

Arrears An overdue debt, liability or obligation. An account is said to be ‘in arrears’ if one or more payments have been missed in transactions where regular payments are contractually required.
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.
Cash Funds that can be readily spent or used to meet current obligations.
Collateral Asset provided to a creditor as security for a loan.
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.
Customer Deposit Cash received in exchange for a service, including safekeeping, savings, investment, etc. Customer deposits are a liability in a bank’s books.
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.
International Scale Rating LC International local currency (International LC) ratings measure the likelihood of repayment in the currency of the jurisdiction in which the issuer is domiciled. Therefore, the rating does not take into account the possibility that it will not be able to convert local currency into foreign currency or make transfers between sovereign jurisdictions.
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.
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.
Net Profit Trading/operating profits after deducting the expenses detailed in the profit and loss account (including taxes).
Performing Loan A loan is said to be performing if the borrower is paying the interest on it on a timely basis.
Portfolio A collection of investments held by an individual investor or financial institution. They may include stocks, bonds, futures contracts, options, real estate investments or any item that the holder believes will retain its value.
Provision The amount set aside or deducted from operating income to cover expected or identified loan losses.
Regulatory Capital The total of primary, secondary and tertiary capital.
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.
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.

For a glossary of terms utilised in this announcement please click here

GCR affirms MBCA Bank Limited’s rating of A(ZW); Outlook Stable.

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