Fitch, GCR upgrade Afreximbank’s outlook, Moody’s affirms stable ratings


By Folasade Akpan
Abuja, July 19, 2021 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), says it has received a set of strong credit rating affirmations and “Positive” outlooks from Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, and Global Credit Ratings (GCR).
A statement issued in Cairo on Monday by Amadou Sall, Afreximbank’s media contact said the ratings underlined the bank’s resilient financial position and performance.
According to the statement, the ratings reinforce the bank’s access to capital at a competitive cost, ensuring the continued success of key strategic initiatives to stimulate African trade.
It said that Fitch revised the outlook on its Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to positive from stable, highlighting that the upgrade “reflects the bank’s growing importance as the main multilateral development bank (MDB) providing funding to non-sovereign borrowers in Africa.”
It added that the agency further affirmed the bank’s IDR at ‘BBB-‘, its Short-Term IDR at ‘F3’ and its senior unsecured debt at ‘BBB-‘.
“Fitch observes that “the significant capital increase (6.5 billion dollars, of which 2.6 billion dollars paid-in) approved by the board of directors in June highlights the increased strategic relevance of the bank for its African shareholders.”
Furthermore, Moody’s affirmed the bank’s ‘Baa1’ rating with a stable outlook, while GCR affirmed Afreximbank’s international scale long-term and short-term issuer ratings of ‘A-‘ and ‘A2’, respectively, with the outlook revised to positive from stable.
It said that the agency notes that the positive outlook factors in its expectation “for the status of the bank as one of the most influential Africa focused Multilateral Development Bank (MDBs) to strengthen, cemented by its development impact on the African continent (measured by the loan book) now closing in on the 20 billion dollars mark.”
The bank said that GCR similarly affirmed the international scale long term issuer rating of ‘A-‘ on the bank’s five billion dollars Global Medium-Term Note (GMTN) programme, with a positive outlook.
According to it, the strong credit ratings achieved by the bank are vital to its ongoing mandate, enabling access to global financial markets and allowing Afreximbank to access funding at a reasonable cost.
It added that the affirmation of Afreximbank’s investment grade status and the upgraded outlook from Fitch demonstrates the systemic relevance of the bank.
This according to him is demonstrated by its robust resilience through the recent pandemic which resulted in unprecedented economic turbulence.
The bank said that the credit rating agencies also underline the continued confidence in the bank’s ability to deliver attractive financial returns while fulfilling its core mandate of expanding, diversifying and developing African trade.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of Afreximbank, said the bank believes in harnessing the power of trade to create jobs, grow prosperity and help Africa reach its full economic potential.
However, to support the vision, the bank must have access to diverse sources of capital at a competitive cost.
“The strong ratings from Fitch, Moody’s and GCR help ensure this access remains open, enabling us to continue driving our mandate at a time when African nations most need our support.
“Management of the bank has ensured it is resilient to challenges and ready to capitalise on the rich potential offered by our continent.
“The ratings demonstrate confidence in this approach and will help energise our plans as we work to support a new era for African trade.”