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Agusto & Co Upgrades Access Bank's Credit Rating to A

July 1, 2014



THISDAY Special Release Nigeria's foremost rating firm Agusto & Co has upgraded Access Bank Plc's credit rating from "A" to "A+" with a stable outlook. The rating cements Access Bank's position as a systemically important banking institution in Nigeria and reflects the full synergy of the merger with Intercontinental Bank Plc.

According to a report by Agusto & Co, Access Bank achieved this by actualising a good liquidity position, satisfactory capitalisation as well as an improved risk management framework which has a positive impact on asset quality.

The rating agency stated in its report that the bank's extensive network of 310 branches and cash centres has created improved visibility among the banking population and has translated to a significant market share across the key market indicators. "NPLs to gross loans ratio stood at 2.4% - the lowest recorded in the last five years and compares favourably with the industry average of 3.6%," Agusto & Co said in its report on the bank.

The report added that "Access Bank's improved rating further corroborates the bank's enhanced capacity to execute larger transactions as well as access long-term funding from local and foreign multilateral agencies and institutions". This was further confirmed in the successful Tier II capital of $400 million Eurobond recently raised by the bank, as this will provide sufficient headroom for the bank to achieve its targeted 20 per cent asset growth in 2014.

The Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, reacting to the rating, said: "This is an affirmation of the bank's strong liquidity and funding position which is also a confirmation of its position as one of Nigeria's foremost Tier 1 banks." He further stressed that "the upgrade is yet another testament to the bank's continued focus on sustainable banking and a reminder of its commitment to becoming the world's most respected African bank".

Wigwe expressed his gratitude to members of staff for their steadfast contribution to the growth of the bank.


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Source: AllAfrica


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