Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said yesterday that it assigned its 'BBB-/A-3' long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings to Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group (ABG). The outlook is stable.
"The ratings on ABG reflect the group's geographic diversification as a fully-fledged Islamic banking group operating in the Middle East and North Africa, its good liquidity profile, and satisfactory capitalisation," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Paul-Henri Pruvost. Offsetting these factors is the group's lack of a strong home market, its challenging business model, as a decentralised player operating in numerous markets, and its only adequate asset quality. The group will be challenged to develop its customer franchise, enhance profitability, and control risks, with the parent bank and its units becoming a more cohesive group.
"The stable outlook factors in the group's endeavour to implement common risk management practices, address its asset quality problems in Egypt, and extract larger economies of scale," added Pruvost.