Announcements

GCR affirms Nedbank Limited’s rating of AA(ZA); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 25 May 2018 – Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the national scale ratings assigned to Nedbank Limited of AA(ZA) and A1+(ZA) in the long term and short term respectively; with the outlook accorded as Stable. Furthermore, Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the long term international scale local currency rating assigned to Nedbank Limited of BB+; with the outlook accorded as Stable.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit ratings to Nedbank Limited (“Nedbank”, “the bank”) based on the following key criteria:

The accorded ratings reflect Nedbank’s well-established franchise, strong competitive position (being one of the largest banks in South Africa) and its status as a systemically important bank. The ratings also factor in the bank’s strong capitalisation, robust risk management systems, sustained operating performance and conservative liquidity buffers. The abovementioned key rating factors are augmented by South Africa’s improving political and economic environment, institutional stability, and increasing investor and consumer confidence.

Nedbank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nedbank Group Limited (“NedGroup”), which is in turn effectively owned by Old Mutual Plc (“Old Mutual”). During 2016, Old Mutual announced its intention to unbundle its controlling 54.1% stake in NedGroup to a strategic minority position of 19.9%. This position will be assumed by a new legal entity, Old Mutual Limited (“OML”), which will be locally listed with the rest of Old Mutual’s current stake in NedGroup gradually distributed to its current shareholders. OML will be primarily listed on the JSE, with a standard listing in London and secondary listings on Zimbabwean, Malawian and Namibian stock exchanges. Notwithstanding this, the ongoing change in ownership structure and subsequent impact on the bank’s support environment is unlikely to affect Nedbank’s current ratings.

The bank retained its strong capitalisation metrics with the Tier 1 and total capital adequacy ratios increasing to 13.8% and 16.7% at FY17 (FY16: 12.9% and 15.9%) respectively, remaining within internal targets. Notwithstanding this, IFRS 9, implemented in 2018, is expected to lead to higher provisioning and earlier recognition of credit losses. Nedbank also makes use of a couple of securitisation vehicles to sponsor and ring-fence the risk and financing of special projects.

Nedbank’s loan book remained constrained, registering 1.1% growth in FY17 (FY16: 3.8%) owing to a difficult operating environment characterised largely by rising interest rates, increased pressure on debt servicing ability, weak albeit improving economic growth and political uncertainty. The total industry loans and advances grew by 4.6% in FY17. The recoveries improved to 25.9% (FY16: 20.6%) and the bad debt charge further reduced to 6.7% (FY16: 9.7%; FY15: 11.5%). Furthermore, non-performing loans (“NPLs”) decreased by 7.1% in FY17, representing 2.5% of total gross loans at FY17 (FY16: 2.7%). Total coverage (specific plus general provisions) was 62.5% at FY16 (FY16: 61.9%). NPLs net of specific provisions amounted to 16.0% of regulatory capital at FY17 (FY16: 15.2%), indicating a reasonable buffer to withstand stress.

The bank reported an 11.0% increase in pre-tax profit for FY17 (R15.6bn). The reported earnings growth was largely underpinned by increases in net interest, fee and commission and trading income, and reduction in impairments. Overall, total operating income grew by 2.6% in FY17 (FY16: 9.9%), while operating costs grew by 3.2% (FY16: 8.3%). However, the cost ratio slightly deteriorated to 58.7% in FY17 (FY16: 58.3%). The ROaE and ROaA ratios registered at a higher 17.3% (FY16: 16.8%) and 1.2% (FY16: 1.1%) respectively for FY17.

Nedbank’s liquidity risk is well managed with the bank reporting a liquidity coverage ratio of 120.5% at FY17 (FY16: 109.3%) while the Basel III phase-in requirement was 80% for FY17 (FY18: 90%). The bank’s strong liquidity position is underpinned by significant long term funding, sufficient liquid asset holdings, strong loan to deposit ratio consistently below 100% (FY17: 97.4%) and low reliance on interbank and foreign funding. Furthermore, the bank’s Net Stable Funding Ratio was proforma compliant with the minimum regulatory requirement (100%) that became effective on 1 January 2018.

The bank’s ratings could benefit from its ability to significantly gain market share and further diversify its revenue sources. The ratings will be sensitive to a substantial deterioration in asset quality, long-term earnings, liquidity and funding and/or capital levels, as well as a weakened support floor. Furthermore, the international scale rating will be sensitive to changes in the sovereign rating of South Africa.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY   INTERNATIONAL SCALE RATING HISTORY
Initial rating (September 2010)   Initial rating (July 2013)
Long-term: AA(ZA); Short-term: A1+(ZA)   Long term (International LC): BBB
Outlook: Stable   Outlook: Stable
     
Last rating (May 2017)   Last rating (May 2017)
Long-term: AA(ZA); Short-term: A1+(ZA)   Long-term (International LC): BB+
Outlook: Stable   Outlook: Negative

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS    
     
Primary Analyst
Vimbai Muhwati
Credit Analyst

(011)784-1771
vimbaim@globalratings.net

  Secondary Analyst

Kudzanai Samanga

Junior Credit Analyst

(011)784-1771

kudzanais@globalratings.net

Committee Chairperson
Vinay Nagar

Senior Credit Analyst

(011) 784-1771
vinay@globalratings.net

 

     

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

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

South Africa Bank Statistical Bulletin (December 2017)

Nedbank rating reports (2010-17)

GCR’s South African Mapping Tables (May 2018)

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; c.) such ratings were an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity; and d.) the validity of the ratings is for a maximum of 12 months, or earlier as indicated by the applicable credit rating document.

Nedbank Limited did not participate in the rating process, though GCR is satisfied that the public information available was sufficient.

The information used to analyse Nedbank Limited and accord the credit ratings included:

  • Audited financial results as at 31 December 2017 (and four years of comparative numbers);
  • Banking sector information (as supplied in the BA900 Reserve Bank of South Africa reports);
  • Industry comparative data; and
  • Other publicly available information.

The ratings above were unsolicited and accorded based on publicly available information.

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.
Balance Sheet Also known as a Statement of Financial Position. A statement of a company’s assets and liabilities provided for the benefit of shareholders and regulators. It gives a snapshot at a specific point in time of the assets the company holds and how they have been financed.
Basel Basel Committee on Banking Supervision housed at the Bank for International Settlements.
Basel I Basel Committee regulations, which set out the minimum capital requirements of financial institutions with the goal of minimising credit risk.
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.
Collateral Asset provided to a creditor as security for a loan.
Cost Ratio The ratio of operating expenses to operating income. Used to measures a bank’s efficiency.
Default Failure to meet the payment obligation of either interest or principal on a debt or bond. Technically, a borrower does not default, the initiative comes from the lender who declares that the borrower is in default.
Financial Institution An entity that focuses on dealing with financial transactions, such as investments, loans and deposits.
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.
Interest Rate The charge or the return on an asset or debt expressed as a percentage of the price or size of the asset or debt. It is usually expressed on an annual basis.
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.
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.
Net Interest Margin Net interest income divided by average interest earning assets. Measures a bank’s margin after paying funding sources and how successful a bank’s interest-related operations are.
Performing Loan A loan is said to be performing if the borrower is paying the interest on it on a timely basis.
Primary Capital Primary capital consists of issued ordinary share capital, hybrid debt capital, perpetual preference share capital, retained earnings and reserves. This amount is then reduced by the portion of capital that is allocated to trading activities and other regulatory deductions.
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).
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.
Secondary Capital Secondary capital is mainly made up of subordinated debt, portfolio impairment and 50% of any revaluation reserves and other specified regulatory deductions.
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 detailed glossary of terms please click here

GCR affirms Nedbank Limited’s rating of AA(ZA); Outlook Stable.

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