Dalal Al-Dousari

KUWAIT: Moody’s Investors Service, the international credit rating agency, has affirmed the A3 long-term deposit ratings of Gulf Bank and changed the outlook on the Bank’s long-term deposits ratings to “Stable” from “Positive”. 

In their recently published press release, Moody’s mentioned that Gulf Bank’s ba1 Baseline Credit Assessment captures the Bank’s solid core revenue-generating capacity, although its bottom-line profitability remains subdued, and adequate capitalization with tangible common equity/risk-weighted assets at 13.3 percent as at December 2019. The Baseline Credit Assessment also considers the Bank’s low and well-provisioned reported nonperforming loans at 1.2 percent as at December 2019. The Bank’s standalone credit profile also continues to be underpinned by comfortable liquidity and stable funding, despite funding concentration, which is typical of Kuwaiti banks.

Change in outlook

According to Moody’s, The change in outlook to stable from positive on Gulf Bank’s deposit ratings captures Moody’s expectation that the pressure on the operating environment in Kuwait on the back of the dual shock of the coronavirus and prolonged low oil prices – with related business confidence implications on the country’s small and undiversified private sector – will neutralize for the foreseeable future the positive pressures on the bank’s Baseline Credit Assessment.

Commenting on Moody’s credit rating announcement, Dalal Al-Dousari, Gulf Bank’s Head of Investor Relations said: “Gulf Bank continues to achieve international recognition for the sustained improvement in its assets quality. We are very pleased to receive the affirmation of our Bank’s long-term deposits rating at “A3” with a “Stable” outlook by Moody’s. “This is an acknowledgement of Gulf Bank’s continuous enhancement in asset quality and profitability, adequate capital and comfortable liquidity position,” added Al-Dousari.

Gulf Bank continues to be well recognized internationally in terms of its credit worthiness and financial strength as it is rated “A” by all four leading credit rating agencies.

In addition to Moody’s Investor Services recent affirmation, Gulf Bank has a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating at “A+” with a “Stable” Outlook by Fitch Ratings, an Issuer Credit Rating of “A-” with a “Stable” Outlook by S&P Global Ratings and a Long-term Foreign Currency  Rating of “A+” with a “Stable” Outlook by Capital Intelligence Ratings.