Bahrain -based Arab Banking Corporation's (ABC) long-term issuer default rating (LT IDR) has been upgraded from "BB+" to "BBB-" and its viability rating (VR) from "bb+" to "bbb-" by Fitch Ratings. "The upgrade of ABC's LT IDR and VR reflects the bank's improved funding profile, continued resilient operating performance, strong capitalisation and healthy asset quality," the agency said. Fitch added that in July last year and the same month this year, ABC secured a total $2 billion in five-year funding, enabling it to significantly lengthen its liabilities profile. Reflecting on the VR of ABC , Fitch particularly stressed "the bank's resilient operating performance, strong capitalisation and comfortable liquidity position." This positive development is a vindication of ABC's efforts over the past few years to reinforce its balance sheet and liquidity with a view to better position the bank to capture the next wave of growth opportunities in its markets. In addition, this rating upgrade is solely driven by the intrinsic value of ABC's franchise, without taking into account the solid and consistent support of its strong shareholders. It augurs well for the future of its businesses, as the current instability in a number of ABC's Mena markets abates. ABC is a leading player in the region's banking industry and provides innovative wholesale financial products and services that include corporate banking, trade finance, project and structured finance, syndications, treasury products and Islamic banking. It also provides retail banking services through its network of retail banks in the Middle East and North Africa region.- TradeArabia News Service ?
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