(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
PARIS/LONDON, August 06 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed
Attijariwafa Bank's (AWB) Long-term foreign currency Issuer
Default Rating (IDR)
at 'BB+', Viability Rating (VR) at 'bb-' and Support Rating (SR)
at '3'. The
Outlook on the Long-term ratings is Stable. A full list of
rating actions is
available at the end of this commentary.
KEY RATING DRIVERS: IDRs, NATIONAL RATINGS, SUPPORT RATING AND
AWB's IDRs, National Ratings, SR and Support Rating Floor (SRF)
moderate probability of support from the Moroccan authorities.
AWB is one of the
Moroccan leading corporate and retail banks with a 26% market
share in both
deposits and lending. It is domestically-owned and operates
subsidiaries in Tunisia and in sub-Saharan African countries.
The Stable Outlook
on the bank reflects the Moroccan sovereign's Outlook.
Fitch considers that the Moroccan authorities would have a high
support AWB if needed, given the bank's strong franchise in the
However, Fitch views the probability of support as only moderate
financial strength (BBB-/Stable).
RATING SENSITIVITIES: IDRs, NATIONAL RATINGS, SUPPORT RATING AND
The IDRs, SRF and SR would be sensitive to any change in Fitch's
view of the
Moroccan state's willingness or ability to support the bank.
Ratings would be downgraded if the sovereign is downgraded by
KEY RATING DRIVERS: VIABILITY RATING
AWB's VR reflects its modest capital ratios and moderate asset
quality given its
high loan book concentration, significant international
exposures towards weak
economies and high related-party lending. It also factors in
domestic franchise, its capacity to generate sustained
profitability and its
overall acceptable funding and liquidity profile. Fitch views
capital ratios as having a higher influence on its VR than other
Compared with peers, AWB's capitalisation is modest given its
high loan book
concentration and exposure to volatile markets such as
countries and Tunisia (together 21% of total assets at
end-2013). The Fitch core
capital (FCC) ratio was only 8.8% at end-2013, although it has
since 2011 (8.2% at end-2012 and 6.5% at end-2011).
Fitch views AWB's asset quality as moderate. AWB's impaired
loans ratio was 6.3%
in 2013, reflecting economic pressures encountered by Moroccan
SMEs (66% of loan portfolio at end-2013), a still challenging
environment in Tunisia (6.5% of AWB's loans portfolio) and weak
sub-Saharan African countries (13%). Fitch expects impaired
loans to keep rising
in 2014, albeit only moderately, due to persistent economic
High obligor concentration in AWB's loan book still represents a
risk. At end-2013, six credit exposures represented more than
10% of FCC, with
the top 20 obligors representing a significant 2.1x FCC. This
reflects, to some extent, the concentration of the Moroccan
economy in certain
sectors and AWB's high domestic market shares. Those large
related-party lending (which accounted for 27% of AWB's FCC at
Fitch considers a rating weakness.
AWB's profitability remained strong in 2013 despite slowing
growth in domestic
loan activity and higher loan impairment charges. Operating
supported by international loan activity and a controlled
(44.5% in 2013).
Fitch considers AWB's funding and liquidity profile as
deposits form the bulk of funding (75% of total funding -
excluding equity - at
end-2013) and liquidity is improving as a result of slowing
demand for credits
and continuously growing client deposits. Fitch considers that
AWB's buffer of
available liquid assets is acceptable. It only covers six months
market funding, but one year-and-half of short-term market
excluding repo with the Moroccan Central Bank.
RATING SENSITIVITIES - VR
The VR would benefit from an improvement of AWB's
higher credit risk or a significant deterioration of asset
quality could put
pressure on AWB's VR.
The rating actions are as follows:
Long-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at 'BB+'; Outlook
Short-term foreign currency IDR: affirmed at 'B'
Long-term local currency IDR: affirmed at 'BBB-'; Outlook Stable
Short-term local currency IDR: affirmed at 'F3'
National Long-term Rating: affirmed at 'AA-(mar)'; Outlook
National Short-term Rating: affirmed at 'F1+ (mar)'
Support Rating: affirmed at '3'
Support Rating Floor: affirmed at 'BB+'
Viability Rating: affirmed at 'bb-'
+33 144 2991 42
Fitch France S.A.S
60 rue de Monceau
+44 20 3530 1126
+33 1 44 29 91 31
Media Relations: Elaine Bailey, London, Tel: +44 203 530 1153,
Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com
Applicable criteria, Global Financial Institutions Rating
Criteria, dated 31
January 2014 and 'National Scale Ratings Criteria', dated 30
October 2013 are
available at www.fitchratings.com.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Global Financial Institutions Rating Criteria
National Scale Ratings Criteria
ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND
PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS
here. IN ADDITION,
ON THE AGENCY'S
PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS,
METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S
CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE
AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE
FROM THE 'CODE OF
CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER
SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES.
DETAILS OF THIS
SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN
ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER
ON THE FITCH