Islamic International Rating Agency AND Dagong global Credit Rating Company Limited Assign Ratings for Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG)
Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) and Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited (Dagong) jointly assigned an investment grade credit rating for ABG at BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term). IIRA also assigned a rating of A+ (bh) / A2 (bh) as a national scale rating. The outlook on both ratings is stable. In addition IIRA assigned an overall Fiduciary score, indicating strong fiduciary standards and well developed governance structure wherein the rights of various stakeholders are well defined and protected. ABG's Sharia Governance, Corporate Governance and Asset Management were also rated excellent by IIRA.
The IIRA/Dagong rating agencies have been approved by the Central Bank of Bahrain as External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAI) and ABG is one of the first Islamic institutions to be rated in Bahrain. IIRA and Dagong have signed co-operation agreements to jointly rate institutions.
The rating report has described the strong financial position of ABG, its resilience to various crises of the recent past and its strong business model based on a diversified risk profile by virtue of its presence in the 12 regional and international markets. IIRA have further commented that the capital adequacy ratio of the Group and its subsidiaries is strong and above the globally acceptable minimum requirement. The brand of ABG has resulted in a well homogenized corporate identity, melding the various entities of the Group into a strategic cohesiveness as reflected in the growth trajectories, branch expansion plans and overall strategic direction for each of the subsidiaries and the Group as a whole. Furthermore governance practices at the Head Office remain strong in the back drop of it being based in Bahrain and regulated by the CBB, which is well regarded for its regional supervisory, corporate governance regulations. The Group also possesses a first mover advantage in many of the markets it operates in on a niche basis and its strategic focus is on mid-size corporate, SME and retail markets. The Group enjoys a strong risk management structure, good asset quality, liquidity and funding. IIRA also stated that the Group is well managed and enjoys a strong franchise as a Sharia compliant banking entity and there is considerable focus on conducting its business activities in a socially responsible manner besides managing an excellent relationship with its shareholders and employees.
Al Baraka Banking Group (BSC) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain and listed on the Bahrain Bourse and NASDAQ Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic Group providing its unique services in markets with a population totaling around one billion. Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services in accordance with principles of Islamic Sharia. The authorized capital of Al Baraka is US$ 1.5 billion and the total equity is around US$ 2 billion.
The Group has a wide geographic presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in 15 countries which in turn provide their services from over 500 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Jordan, Tunisia, Sudan, Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia and has two Representative Offices in Indonesia and Libya.