Fitch Revises Fidelity Bank’s Long-Term Outlook to Positive, Affirms Rating at ‘B-‘

Date:

Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook on Fidelity Bank PLC’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Positive from Stable, while affirming the rating at ‘B-’. Additionally, Fitch affirmed Fidelity Bank’s National Long-Term Rating at ‘A(nga)’ with a Stable Outlook.

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In a statement released on Friday, Fitch highlighted that the outlook revision reflects expectations of strengthened capitalisation for Fidelity Bank in the near term due to core capital issuances. These issuances aim to meet the new paid-in capital requirement of N500 billion for banks with an international licence, effective by the end of the first quarter of 2026.

Fitch stated, “Fidelity’s IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b-’. The VR balances the concentration of operations in Nigeria’s challenging operating environment, very high credit concentration, and high Stage 2 loans against a growing franchise, sound profitability metrics, good capital buffers, and reasonable foreign-currency (FC) liquidity coverage.”

The statement also noted, “Fidelity’s National Ratings are driven by its standalone creditworthiness. They balance a growing franchise and good capital buffers against weaker profitability compared to higher-rated peers.”

Fitch identified Fidelity as Nigeria’s sixth-largest bank, accounting for 5% of domestic banking system assets at the end of 2023. The agency acknowledged the bank’s strong balance-sheet growth in recent years, which has increased its market share, though it remains below that of the five largest banking groups.

On potential factors for negative rating actions or downgrades, Fitch stated, “A sovereign downgrade could result in a downgrade of Fidelity’s VR and Long-Term IDR if Fitch believes that the direct and indirect effects of a sovereign default would likely have a sufficiently large impact on capitalisation and foreign-currency liquidity to undermine the bank’s viability.

However, this is unlikely considering the Positive Outlook on Nigeria’s Long-Term IDRs.”

Godwin Okafor, The Naija247news
Godwin Okafor, The Naija247newshttps://naija247news.com
Godwin Okafor is a veteran Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur, and the visionary Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. With an extensive career spanning over 16 years in financial journalism, Godwin possesses a wealth of experience that seamlessly bridges both traditional and digital media landscapes. His journey in journalism commenced at Business Day, Nigeria, where he laid the foundation for his prolific career. In 2010, Godwin took a bold step by founding Naija247news Media, a platform that has since become a prominent player in delivering timely and accurate news. Educationally, Godwin Okafor holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the prestigious Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. His commitment to continuous learning led him to the Lagos Business School, where he further honed his skills. Additionally, he is recognized as a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania, having successfully completed the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists. Throughout his illustrious career, Godwin has earned acclaim by winning numerous journalism awards, a testament to his dedication to excellence in reporting. Beyond his role as a Financial Journalist, Godwin Okafor wears the hat of the Chairman at Emmerich Resources Limited, the publishing entity behind Naija247news. His visionary leadership has played a pivotal role in shaping the media landscape and establishing Naija247news as a trusted source of information. Godwin Okafor's multifaceted expertise, commitment to journalistic integrity, and leadership in the realm of business journalism underscore his influential presence in both the media and entrepreneurial spheres.

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