Announcements

GCR affirms Victoria Commercial Bank Limited’s rating of BBB(KE); Outlook Positive.

Johannesburg, 31 July 2017 — Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has affirmed Victoria Commercial Bank Limited’s long-term and short-term national scale ratings of BBB(KE) and A2(KE) respectively; with the outlook accorded as Positive. The ratings are valid until July 2018.

SUMMARY RATINGS RATIONALE

The ratings of Victoria Commercial Bank Limited (“VCB” or “the bank”) reflect its successful relationship-based niche private banking model and resilience in a challenging operating environment, supported by satisfactory asset quality and capitalisation, and sound liquidity and profitability. The bank’s ratings are, however, constrained by its relatively small size, which implies low systemic importance relative to the larger local banks.

Due to VCB’s highly selective client base; stringent pre-loan application processes; and strong risk management capabilities; the bank has consistently maintained strong asset quality, demonstrated by zero non-performing loans for at least the past decade. Past due but not impaired loans (early arrears, <90 days) represented a small portion (1.1%) of the total gross loans at FY16 (FY15: 1.3%).

Following an oversubscribed rights issue in FY16, Tier 1 capital grew by 45% to KES4.8bn at FY16. Consequently, the bank’s capitalisation ratios improved significantly, recording Tier 1 and total capital adequacy ratios of 24.7% and 25.5% respectively at FY16 (FY15: 18.6% and 19.3%).

Total liability funding grew by 4.9% to KES17.2bn at FY16 (FY15: 14.6%). Customer deposits, (the bank’s main source of funding) grew by 11.9% in FY16 (against 6.7% YoY average customer deposit growth for the banking sector at end-December 2016) drawing from the bank’s relationship based business model which has enabled it to attract deposits from its clients. This is despite weakening consumer confidence (following the placement in receivership of some mid/lower tier banks) and as the sector undergoes regulation-driven structural changes. Like many lending institutions, VCB is subject to short-term asset liability mismatches. Nonetheless, management indicated that over 90% of wholesale deposits are typically rolled over YoY and to manage the resultant mismatches, the bank maintains its liquidity ratio above both the regulatory and board approved minima. The ratio of liquid assets to short-term funding registered 38.2% at FY16, up from 37.5% at FY15.

Net profit before tax from recurring operations grew by 17.6% to KES796.4m at FY16 driven by an 8.9% and 20.9% growth in net interest, and fee and commission income respectively. The bank’s ROaA and ROaE from recurring operations increased to 2.8% and 15.6% respectively at FY16 (FY15: 2.5% and 14.8%).

Maintenance of strong asset quality, sound liquidity and capitalisation, combined with improved funding diversification, and tenor could positively impact the ratings. Furthermore, the bank’s ratings would benefit from substantial improvement in market position within the bank’s niche client base. Downward pressure on VCB’s ratings could stem from deterioration in macroeconomic conditions, which could adversely affect its asset quality, capital base and earnings power, and/or negative changes in the bank’s financial profile.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY    
     
Initial rating (October 2012)   Last rating (July 2016)
Long-term: BBB(KE); Short-term: A3(KE)   Long-term: BBB(KE); Short-term: A2(KE)
Outlook: Positive   Outlook: Stable
     

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst    
Vimbai Muhwati    
Credit Analyst    
(011) 784-1771    
vimbaim@globalratings.net    
     
Committee Chairperson    
Omega Collocott    
Sector Head: Financial Institution Ratings    
(011) 784-1771    
omegac@globalratings.net    

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

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

Kenya Bank Statistical Bulletin (December 2016)

VCB rating reports (2012-16)

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 rating was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the rating was based solely on the merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument being rated; and c.) such rating was an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument.

Victoria Commercial Bank 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 Victoria Commercial Bank Limited with no contestation of the ratings.

Information received from Victoria Commercial Bank Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit ratings included:

• Audited financial results as at 31 December 2016 (and four years comparative numbers)

• Unaudited interim results at 31 March 2017

• 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

The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, Victoria Commercial 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

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.
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.
Capital Base The issued capital of a company, plus reserves and retained profits.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Retained Earnings Earnings not paid out as dividends by a company. Retained earnings are typically reinvested back into the business and are an important component of shareholders’ equity.
Risk The chance of future uncertainty (i.e. deviation from expected earnings or an expected outcome) that will have an impact on objectives.
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.
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.
Stock Exchange A market with a trading-floor or a screen-based system where members buy and sell securities.
   

For a glossary of terms please click here

GCR affirms Victoria Commercial Bank Limited’s rating of BBB(KE); Outlook Positive.

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