Gulf International Bank (GIB) announced recently that Capital Intelligence Ratings (CI), the international credit rating agency, has affirmed the Bank’s Long-Term Foreign Currency Rating (FCR) at ‘A+’ and the Short-Term FCR at ‘A1’.
According to the report issued by CI, GIB’s ownership remains a key positive ratings driver, reflecting an exceptionally strong and supportive shareholder through the Saudi government owned Public Investment Fund (PIF). It also cited other key factors supporting the FCR ratings including the fact that the overwhelming majority of GIB’s risk assets, funding and revenue streams are derived from highly rated GCC countries, mostly Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser degree Western Europe. GIB’s ratings are therefore not constrained by CI’s sovereign ratings for Bahrain.
CI Ratings also maintained GIB’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) at ‘BBB+’ with a ‘Stable’ Outlook, a reflection of GIB’s geographically diversified balance sheet in highly rated GCC sovereigns, strong liquidity and good access to capital markets. Another supporting factor is the Bank’s sound capital adequacy.
Overall CI reported that GIB is a well-managed institution with a conservative credit and investment policy and a satisfactory risk profile owing to management’s past initiatives to ‘de-risk’ the balance sheet. It further noted that while the mainstay of the business model remains wholesale banking, the ongoing development of the retail banking platform is expected to bring diversification benefits to the Bank’s assets, funding sources and revenue streams over time, as well as increasing margins.
Mr. Abdulaziz A. Al-Helaissi, Group Chief Executive Officer of GIB, said: “The affirmation of our ratings continues to emphasise the success of our strategy and the great strides we have taken in creating a strong pan-GCC universal bank. In a challenging and competitive market, we continue to successfully diversify our business and bolster our financial position through prudent policies and a highly focused approach to managing risk. We look forward to further improvements and growth across the business.”
GIB aims to be the preferred financial services partner, delivering bespoke banking solutions to a wide customer base in the region and beyond. This includes corporate banking, asset management, debt and equity capital market services, financial advisory services, mergers and acquisitions, and the world’s first Shariah compliant digital retail banking service, meem by Gulf International Bank.
In addition to its main subsidiaries, London-based GIB (UK) Ltd., and Riyadh-based GIB Capital LLC, GIB has branches in London, New York, Abu Dhabi, Dhahran, Riyadh and Jeddah with a representative office in Dubai.