Capital Intelligence has upgraded Jordan Kuwait Bank’s (JKB) long and short-term foreign currency ratings to BB and B respectively, following the recent upgrade in Jordan’s foreign currency ratings.
The assigned ratings are set at the country’s sovereign ceiling. JKB’s financial strength rating was also upgraded to BBB reflecting the further improvement in the Bank’s financial ratios in recent years. The outlook is stable.
JKB has successfully evolved into one of the leading medium sized players in the fragmented Jordanian banking system over the last four years. Management is well regarded and clear business strategies are in place aimed at consolidating the Bank’s position within the local market.
Against an improving local economy, JKB has built a solid balance sheet and its declining problem loan levels and strengthened provision cover is testimony to its prudent credit policy and conservatism.
JKB’s sound asset quality is underpinned by one of the lowest non-performing loans ratios and strongest cover among Jordanian banks. Capitalization is solid and has been reinforced over the recent past from retained earnings and the comfortable liquidity position reflects the large base of customer funding.
While profitability has significantly improved in recent years producing some of the highest returns in the domestic market, heightening competition for both loans and deposits amid a falling interest rate environment is starting to squeeze interest margins.
A commercial bank in nature, JKB is also active in corporate finance, treasury and consumer lending. The Bank maintains an international banking unit in Cyprus in addition to a branch in the Palestinian Authority and a representative office in Algeria. Domestically, JKB operates a network of 34 branches and offices. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )