Fitch Assigns Zenith Bank’s Senior Notes ‘B+(EXP)’ Expected Rating

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Lagos Nigeria -12 May 2017: Fitch Ratings has assigned Nigeria-based Zenith Bank PLC’s (Zenith) upcoming issuance of USD500 million, five-year senior unsecured notes an expected rating of ‘B+(EXP)’.

The Recovery Rating is ‘RR4’, which denotes average recovery prospects in the event of default. The notes will be issued under Zenith’s updated USD1 billion global medium term note (GMTN) programme.

The assignment of the final rating is contingent on the receipt of final documents conforming to the information received to date.

The senior unsecured notes are rated in line with Zenith’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B+’. In the agency’s view, the likelihood of default on these notes reflects the likelihood of default of the bank.

Zenith’s IDR is driven by its standalone creditworthiness as defined by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b+’.

Zenith’s ratings are among the highest assigned by Fitch to a Nigerian bank. This reflects its sound company profile and management, solid capital base and strong through-the-cycle performance.

The rating on the senior unsecured notes is sensitive to a change in Zenith’s IDR, which could be triggered by a material asset quality and capital deterioration as well as continued pressure on foreign currency funding and liquidity.

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