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Global Credit Research - 04 Aug 2010
DIFC - Dubai, August 04, 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned Baa1/Prime-2 long-
and short-term deposit ratings to United Arab Bank PJSC ("UAB").
At the same time, Moody's has assigned a standalone rating
(bank financial strength rating "BFSR") of D+, which maps to
a baseline credit assessment (BCA) of Baa3. All ratings carry a
Moody's BFSR rating takes into account UAB's strong core earnings-generating
capability, its high capitalisation levels as well as its good asset
quality. However, UAB's BFSR is constrained by the
bank's small franchise and developing risk-management practices.
Given its long history (established in 1975) and very selective asset
growth, UAB has long-established relationships with most
of its customers, which are mainly engaged in trading and manufacturing
businesses and are therefore not directly affected by the recent property
market turmoil in Dubai. Although trade volumes have been reduced
in 2009 compared with 2008, UAB has promptly responded to the changing
environment by de-risking its balance sheet from potentially troubled
corporate credits. As a result, UAB's asset-quality
ratios are comparatively good, with NPL levels well below the UAE
industry average and with adequate provisioning. As a result of
the good asset quality and sustained net-interest margins (UAB
is among the few corporate-oriented banks in the UAE with high
net-interest margins) the bank has maintained a strong net profitability
compared with its peers. Moody's believes that UAB's
profitability will continue to rise, albeit from a low base,
as the bank expands its loan book in 2010 and as the UAE economy moves
out of recession, slowly recovering in 2010 and more visibly in
Moody's also notes that the bank has been prudently managing its
liquidity and that it has benefited from the added government support
to boost its cash levels significantly. While the rating agency
notes that the bank remains exposed to high funding and credit concentration,
many of UAB's deposits come mainly from long-established
corporate relationships and are likely to benefit from a considerable
degree of deposit "stickiness".
However, the rating accounts for UAB's small size and its
sensitivity to the asset quality of its top customers. Although
Moody's believes that the bank has prudent credit approval processes
in place, it notes that more developments are underway in its management
information systems, with the application of more advanced risk-management
The principal methodologies used in rating this issuer are "Bank Financial
Strength Ratings: Global Methodology", and "Incorporation
of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined
Methodology", which can be found at www.moodys.com
in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research &
Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been
considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the
Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.
Headquartered in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), UAB
reported total assets of AED6.761 billion (US$1.837
billion) as of 30 June 2010.
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Cyprus Limited
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454
DIFC - Dubai
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Middle East Ltd.
Moody's Middle East Limited
Moody's assigns Baa1/P-2/D+ ratings to United Arab Bank (UAE); outlook stable
Gate Village 4, Level 3
P.O. Box 113355
DIFC - Dubai
No Related Data.
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