The global rating agency, Fitch has affirmed the AA- (nga) rating of Guaranty Trust Bank for the fifth consecutive year.
A statement by GTBank said coming on the heels of unprecedented reforms witnessed in the Nigerian banking industry, the rating further reaffirms GTBank’s increasing relevance in the national, regional and global economy.
It is also a reflection of the bank’s stability and reputation of being a well established franchise with strong asset quality and consistent excellent financial performance, it said.
In its published report, Fitch recognised that overall levels of economic activity in Nigeria have slowed; the agency however, considered that GTBank's strong franchise should underpin a core level of earnings momentum.
Despite the significantly higher impairment charges incurred by the bank in Q309, Fitch considered GTBank's asset quality indicators and coverage ratios to be acceptable and in line with other highly rated domestic peers. Guaranty Trust Bank reported Non-Performing Loans and coverage ratios of 3.7 per cent (FYE08: 1.8 per cent) and 1.44x (FYE08: 1.19x) at Quarter 3, 2009 respectively. Loan growth was rapid during FYE08 with gross loans up an annualised 54.5 per cent, with certain sectors at higher levels of growth. The bank's loan book remains concentrated in its exposure to the general commerce, manufacturing and construction sectors.
Speaking on the new ratings, the bank’s Managing Director, Tayo Aderinokun, said the rating only goes to show the bank’s consistency over the years and commitment to its core principles of ensuring good corporate governance and efficiency across all its business operations.