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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms ratings of five UAE banks and changes outlook to stable from negative on four

30 May 2017

Rating actions follows affirmation of the UAE Government's Aa2 issuer rating, with a stable outlook

London, 30 May 2017 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has today affirmed the long-term ratings of five banks based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC (FAB) at Aa3, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) at A1, Al Hilal Bank PJSC (AHB) at A1, Union National Bank PJSC (UNB) at A1 and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) at A2.

The outlook on FAB, ADCB, UNB long-term deposit and ADIB's long-term issuer ratings has been changed to stable from negative.

In addition, the ba2 baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA and Prime-1 short-term issuer ratings of Al Hilal Bank PJSC were also affirmed. The outlook on AHB's long term ratings remains negative.

The action follows Moody's decision to affirm the UAE's government issuer rating at Aa2, and change the outlook to stable from negative, on 27 May 2017. Please see "Moody's changes rating outlook on the UAE to stable from negative; affirms Aa2 issuer rating" (https://www.moodys.com/research/--PR_366955.).

Full list of affected ratings is at the bottom of the press release.

RATINGS RATIONALE

AFFIRMATION OF FAB, ADCB, UNB and ADIB's LONG TERM RATINGS AND CHANGE IN OUTLOOK TO STABLE

Moody's affirmation and change in outlook from negative to stable on the banks' long-term ratings of UNB, FAB, ADCB and ADIB is driven by the affirmation of the Aa2 issuer rating of the government of the UAE and the change in outlook to stable from negative. The banks' long-term ratings continue to benefit from a high expectation of government support, which provides uplift to their long-term ratings which are therefore sensitive to changes in the creditworthiness of the UAE sovereign. Moody's support assumptions take into account the capacity and willingness of a government to provide extraordinary support to banks in case of need. The stable outlook on the sovereign rating indicates that this capacity is expected to remain unchanged and this underlies the stable outlook on the banks' ratings.

As a result, FAB' Aa3 long-term deposit ratings continues to benefit from three notches of uplift from government support from the bank's a3 standalone baseline credit assessment (BCA). ADCB' A1 long-term deposit ratings benefit from five notches of uplift from government support from the bank's baa3 standalone BCA. UNB' A1 long-term deposit ratings benefit from five notches of uplift from government support from the bank's baa3 standalone BCA. ADIB' A2 long-term issuer ratings benefit from five notches of uplift from government support from the bank's ba1 standalone BCA.

The difference in the number of notches of government support uplift among the banks reflects both the difference in their BCA levels relative to the sovereign rating, as well as the difference in the banks' systemic importance and relationship to the sovereign, as reflected by their size and ownership structure.

---- RATINGS OUTLOOK FOR FAB, ADCB, UNB and ADIB

The stable outlook on the banks' long-term ratings mirrors the stable outlook on UAE's issuer rating, which signals that the capacity of the government to provide support is not expected to change.

AFFIRMATION OF AL HILAL BANK'S LONG-TERM ISSUER RATINGS WITH NEGATIVE OUTLOOK

AHB's BCA was affirmed at ba2, and its long-term issuer ratings were affirmed at A1 with negative outlook. AHB' A1 long-term issuer ratings continue to benefit from seven notches of uplift from government support from the bank's ba2 BCA, reflecting the bank's low BCA, its government ownership and the bank's role as a flagship Islamic bank.

The affirmation of the A1 long-term issuer ratings is driven by the affirmation of the sovereign rating and of the ba2 BCA. The affirmation of the ba2 BCA incorporates the deterioration to date in asset quality and profitability, as well as the bank's modest capitalisation with tangible common equity ratio at around 10%, which can be further boosted by the authorised but unissued capital from the shareholder by 250 basis points.

--- RATINGS OUTLOOK AHB

Moody's added that the negative outlook on AHB's long-term issuer ratings is driven by its view that going forward the deteriorating trend in the bank's financial fundamentals will continue. AHB's asset quality has deteriorated with the adjusted non-performing financings ratio (NPF analogous to NPL -- non-performing loans) increasing to around 10.9% as of December 2016 from 8.9% as of December 2015. At these levels, the metrics compare unfavorably with the UAE average of around 5% and Moody's note that this weakening trend since 2014 is in contrast to the period of strong recovery observed in most of the UAE system between 2013 and 2015, and expected to continue.

As a result, the bank's profitability is consistently weak as provisioning expenses have consumed over 90% of pre-provision income on average since 2014. Additional profitability pressures are stemming from lower net profit margin (analogous to net interest margin) which is down to 2.5% for the year 2016 from 3.1% for the year 2015.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS - UP

Upward pressure on FAB, UNB, ADCB and ADIB's ratings could develop in the event of (1) positive pressures in the operating environment in the UAE, that could result in a higher Macro Profile for the UAE, and (2) a material strengthening in financial fundamentals, solvency and/or liquidity metrics.

We do not expect upward pressure on AHB's ratings over the near term, as indicated by the negative outlook. The ratings outlook could be stabilised by a combination of a significant improvement in profitability and asset quality.

WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATINGS - DOWN

Downwards pressure on the FAB,UNB, ADCB and ADIB's standalone credit profiles could develop in the event of (1) a deterioration in the operating environment that may result in lowering the Macro Profile of the UAE, and (2) a material deterioration in financial fundamentals, putting pressure on solvency and/or liquidity metrics.

Downwards pressure on AHB's standalone ratings could materialise in the event of (1) further deterioration in asset quality and/or (2) continued weakening in capitalisation or profitability.

Downward pressure on all the bank's long term ratings could result from deteriorating standalone ratings or from a lowering of the sovereign rating, which is however unlikely given the stabilisation in outlook of this.

PRINCIPAL METHODOLOGY

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Banks published in January 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

LIST OF AFFECTED RATINGS

Issuer: First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

....LT Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed Aa3, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Foreign Currency), Affirmed Aa3, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)Aa3

....Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: FGB Sukuk Company Limited

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)Aa3

Issuer: First Gulf Bank

....Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture (Foreign Currency), Affirmed Aa3, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong Branch

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)Aa3

Issuer: National Bank of Abu Dhabi, London Branch

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)Aa3

Issuer: National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Singapore Branch

....LT Deposit Note/CD Program (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)Aa3

Issuer: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

....LT Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed A1, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)A1

....Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: ADCB Finance (Cayman) Limited

.... BACKED Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)A1

.... BACKED Senior Unsecured (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A1, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

....LT Issuer Ratings (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed A2, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: Union National Bank PJSC

....LT Bank Deposits (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed A1, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)A1

....Senior Unsecured (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A1, Outlook Changed to Stable from Negative

....Outlook, Changed to Stable from Negative

Issuer: Al Hilal Bank PJSC

....LT Issuer Ratings (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed A1, Negative Outlook Maintained

....ST Issuer Ratings (Local & Foreign Currency), Affirmed P-1

....Adjusted Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed ba2

....Baseline Credit Assessment, Affirmed ba2

....LT Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed A1(cr)

....ST Counterparty Risk Assessment, Affirmed P-1(cr)

....Outlook, Remains Negative

Issuer: AHB Sukuk Company Ltd.

....Senior Unsecured MTN (Foreign Currency), Affirmed (P)A1

....Senior Unsecured (Foreign Currency), Affirmed A1, Negative Outlook Maintained

....Outlook, Remains Negative

The local market analyst for First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, First Gulf Bank, FGB Sukuk Company Limited, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong Branch, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, London Branch, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Singapore Branch,, Al Hilal Bank PJSC, AHB Sukuk Company Ltd. is Nitish Bhojnagarwala, +971.4.237.9563.

The local market analyst for Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and ADCB Finance (Cayman) Limited ratings is Olivier Panis, +971.4.237.9533.

The local market analyst for Union National Bank PJSC ratings is Mik Kabeya, +971.0.423.79590.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The relevant office for each credit rating is identified in "Debt/deal box" on the Ratings tab in the Debt/Deal List section of each issuer/entity page of the Website.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Items color coded in purple in this Press Release relate to unsolicited ratings for a rated entity which is non-participating.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Akin Majekodunmi
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Sean Marion
MD - Financial Institutions
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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