Fitch Affirms Stanbic IBTC Bank at ‘AAA(nga)’

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Fitch Ratings has affirmed the National Long-Term Ratings of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (SIBTC) and its non-operating holding company, Stanbic IBTC Holding Company PLC (SIBTCH), at ‘AAA(nga)’ and National Short-Term Ratings at ‘F1+(nga)’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.

Key Rating Drivers

National Ratings And Senior Debt

The ratings of SIBTC and SIBTCH are based on potential support from their ultimate parent, South Africa’s Standard Bank Group (SBG; BB+/Negative), which owns 65.9% of SIBTCH (which in turn owns 100% of SIBTC).

The National Ratings reflect SBG’s ability to support the subsidiaries and the group’s willingness to do so. The ability to support considers SBG’s ‘BB+’ Long-Term IDR as well as Nigeria’s Country Ceiling of ‘B+’.

Fitch believes that SBG’s willingness to support the group’s Nigerian subsidiaries is high. Factors considered include SIBTCH’s and SIBTC’s role in the group as SBG’s main operations in West Africa, the ownership size and high operational integration. Fitch believes that SBG’s support, if needed, would extend equally to the bank and the holding company.

SIBTCH is the holding company for SBG’s Nigerian operations. Its main operating entity SIBTC, a mid-tier bank with a leading corporate and investment banking franchise, forms 96% of the holding company’s assets.

Fitch has also affirmed the National Long-Term Ratings on SIBTC’s NGN30 billion senior unsecured notes and the National Long and Short-Term Ratings on the NGN150 billion structured note programme for senior unsecured debt.

Rating Sensitivities

National Ratings And Senior Debt

Given Nigeria’s Country Ceiling of ‘B+’, SIBTCH’s and SIBTC’s National Ratings could withstand up to a two-notch downgrade of SBG’s ‘BB+’ Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR before they would be affected. Downside risk to the ratings could also stem from a decline in SBG’s willingness or ability to provide support, or from a change in SBG’s stake, resulting in a loss of control.

A downgrade of Nigeria is unlikely to result in a downgrade of SIBTCH’s or SIBTC’s National Ratings.

The ratings on the senior notes and programme are sensitive to changes in SIBTC’s National Long-and Short-Term Ratings.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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