Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, announced credit rating action on International Bank of Yemen (IBY), based in Sana'a, Yemen.
IBY's Long and Short-Term Foreign Currency Ratings were affirmed at 'B-' and 'C' respectively, and with a 'Negative' Outlook - reflecting the still very challenging operating environment.
The Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is affirmed at 'B'. The FSR is supported by a solid capital adequacy ratio (CAR), good liquidity and a relatively high level of profit at the operating level. The rating is constrained by weak asset quality and the difficult environment, specifically severe weakness in the economy and the attendant risk to the Bank's financials.
The Outlook for the FSR is moved to 'Stable' from 'Negative', reflecting the lower level of non-performing loans (NPLs) to end-June 2012 and good rise in customer deposits in the first half of 2012. The Support Rating is maintained at '4', reflecting limited capacity for support from shareholders.
IBY is Yemen's second largest bank, controlling around 13% of banking system assets. In line with the banking sector profile, IBY's loan portfolio is small as a proportion of total assets with the major asset category comprising Yemeni government treasury bills.
Loan asset quality is very poor, which is reflected in a high level of NPLs against gross loans. NPLs grew significantly in the very difficult year of 2011 but declined in H1 2012. In mitigation, the provisioning level is adequate and the gap between unprovided loans and free capital is reasonable.
Despite the conditions, IBY's profitability, although lower, was adequate in 2011 with net profit impacted by a much higher provision charge. The Bank also benefited from large foreign currency gains due to a long position in US dollars. Nonetheless, IBY's performance is quite good at the operating level and the Bank's operating profit on average assets is the highest in the peer group - aided by good margins and a very low cost base. IBY's large domestic treasury bill portfolio provides a significant and steady interest income stream. At the same time, the Bank carries a high concentration risk to government paper. Liquidity is more than adequate due to its relatively large deposit base and high level of liquid assets but could come under pressure through problems within the treasury bill portfolio. As with the Yemeni banking sector as a whole, IBY's deposit base fell slightly in 2011 due to weaker market confidence but recorded strong growth in H1 2012. The Bank's capital position is sound with the ratio supported by the zero risk-weighting attached to Yemeni government treasury bills.
IBY was established in January 1979 by a Presidential decree. The Bank administers its operations in the Republic of Yemen through its head office located in Sana'a and eighteen other branches (Sana'a, Aden, Hodeidah, Taiz, Seiyun and Mukalla). IBY's shareholder base is dispersed quite widely. At end-June 2012, total assets amounted to YER260bn.