Announcements

GCR affirms Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited’s rating of AA-(ZW); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 30 April 2018 — Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has affirmed Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited’s long-term and short-term national scale ratings of AA-(ZW) and A1+(ZW) respectively; with the outlook accorded as Stable. The ratings are valid until 30 April 2019.

SUMMARY RATINGS RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit ratings to Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited (“Stanbic” or “the bank”) based on the following key criteria:

The ratings reflect the bank’s resilient credit profile within a challenging operating environment (characterised by weak economic activity, and cash and foreign currency shortages), underpinned by an established track record, strong competitive positioning, healthy capitalisation, stable asset quality, strong liquidity and financial performance, and rating support from the bank’s parent, Standard Bank Group Limited (“SBGL” or “the group”).

Stanbic’s ratings reflect demonstrated risk management oversight and technical support provided by the bank’s parent. SBGL is Africa’s largest banking group with USD165bn in assets at FY17 and a presence in 20 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

Significant profit retention has supported a healthy capital build over the review period, with core capital surpassing the USD100m minimum threshold set for 2020 (core capital increased by 25.1% (FY16: 26.9%) to USD127.4m at FY17). Accordingly, the total capital adequacy ratio was well above the regulatory minimum of 12%, registering at 25.0% at FY17 (FY16: 23.7%).

The bank maintained a healthy loan portfolio due to its stringent underwriting standards and rigorous post-disbursement monitoring, despite a highly volatile operating environment. Gross non-performing loans (“NPLs”) decreased by 34% to USD9.0m, while the loan book grew by 18.2% to USD351.7m at FY17. Consequently, the gross NPL ratio decreased to 2.6% at FY17 (FY16: 4.6%) and remains well below the industry average of 7.1%. Specific provision coverage (pre-collateral) for NPLs decreased to 57.6% at FY17 (FY16: 68.6%). Notwithstanding this, loan portfolio risk exposures evidence very low potential to capital erosion based on current levels, as illustrated by net NPLs amounting to a lower 2.6% of total regulatory capital at FY17 (FY16: 3.7%), pre-collateral.

The bank recorded a net profit before tax of USD42.7m for FY17 (FY16: USD30.1m) supported by net interest and non-interest income growth of 16.6% and 10.6% respectively, as the bank benefitted from investment in electronic customer channels and increase in trading revenue (foreign currency trading and structured transactions). However, net interest margin decreased from 10.8% at FY16 to 9.3% at FY17, owing to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe capping lending rates at 12% per annum, effective 1 April 2017. Looking ahead, the implementation of IFRS 9 in 2018 is expected to result in an increase in impairment charges (including interest in suspense), which may negatively impact profitability. Overall, the ROaA decreased to 2.5% (FY16: 2.9%) in FY17 and the ROaE increased to 22.3% (FY16: 21.5%).

Customer deposits, the bank’s main source of funding, increased by 72% to USD1.2bn at FY17, underpinned by systemic cash shortages limiting daily withdrawals. Furthermore, increased surrender requirements inhibited depositors from utilising their funds for the settlement of foreign obligations. To manage liquidity risk, the bank holds significantly high levels of liquidity supported by a prudential liquidity ratio well above the regulatory minimum and industry average of 30%.

A notable strengthening of the bank’s competitive position, while maintaining the current credit profile as reflected by sustainable earnings growth/diversification, generous capital and liquidity buffers and a strong asset quality profile could trigger a positive rating action. However, a negative rating action may follow a weakened shareholder support floor coupled with a deterioration in the credit profile.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY    
     
Initial rating (June 2004)   Last rating (April 2017)
Long term: AA-(ZW); Short term: A1+(ZW)   Long term: AA-(ZW); Short term: A1+(ZW)
Outlook: Stable   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    
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)

Stanbic 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 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.

Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited 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 Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited with no contestation of the ratings.

Information received from Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited 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);
  • 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; and
  • Industry comparative data.

The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe 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 detailed glossary of terms, please click here

GCR affirms Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Limited’s rating of AA-(ZW); Outlook Stable.

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