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Gulf International Bank's ratings affirmed by Capital Intelligence Ratings with a 'Stable' Outlook

The international credit rating agency Capital Intelligence Ratings recently affirmed Gulf International Bank's (GIB) Long-Term Foreign Currency Rating at A+ and the Short-Term Foreign Currency at A1, with a ‘Stable’ outlook. The affirmation of the ratings was driven by Capital Intelligence Ratings’ view that “GIB’s ownership remains a key ratings driver, testifying to an exceptionally strong and supportive shareholder through the Saudi government-owned Public Investment Fund”.  The Support Rating of ‘1’ is also maintained.

In its press announcement, Capital Intelligence Ratings noted that “GIB is a well-managed institution following a conservative credit and investment policy”. According to the rating agency, further factors contributing to the affirmation of the ratings were strategic management initiatives which resulted in a reduced risk profile and strengthened both liquidity and funding profiles of the bank. 

Capital Intelligence Ratings also affirmed GIB’s Financial Strength Rating at BBB+, with a ‘Stable’ Outlook. In the agency’s view it is “reflecting GIB’s geographically diversified balance sheet, solid capital adequacy, strong liquidity, growing contribution of customer deposits to total funding, good access to capital markets, and sound asset quality”.

The ratings agency emphasized that GIB’s “solid capital ratios (Basel III), together with a high Tier 1 component, provide a good buffer against eventualities”. Furthermore, Capital Intelligence Ratings elaborated that GIB’s “policy of full earnings retention over the last six years has supported internal capital generation and, in turn, replenished the capital base. Liquidity remains strong.” In addition the agency pointed out that although refinancing risk has increased across geographies, GIB continues to successfully tap the capital markets and its debt service capacity remains good.

GIB's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abdulaziz A. Al-Helaissi, said: “The ratings validate the initiatives undertaken to transform the bank to a pan-GCC universal bank through the implementation of a new business strategy. The affirmation of both the long-term and short-term foreign currency ratings with a stable outlook is a very positive outcome in the current environment and reflects GIB’s fundamental financial strength and prudent risk profile.”

GIB is owned by the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund owns 97.2% of GIB.

Gulf International Bank (GIB) is a pan-GCC universal bank that specializes in corporate and investment banking and has a growing retail footprint. In addition to its main subsidiaries, London-based Gulf International Bank (UK) Ltd., and Riyadh-based GIB Capital LLC, it has branches in London, New York, Abu Dhabi, Dhahran, Riyadh and Jeddah with representative offices in Dubai and Beirut.