Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmedthe Foreign Currency ratings of Tunisia’s Amen Bank at BB- (Long-term) and B (Short-term) and theFinancial Strength rating at BB-. The Support rating was affirmed at 4. Due to Amen Bank’s improvedfinancial position with regard to asset quality, capital adequacy and profitability, the Outlook for itsForeign Currency and Financial Strength ratings was raised to ‘Stable’ from ‘Negative’.Amen Bank (Amen) was founded in 1971 as Crédit Foncier et Commercial de Tunisie. Private Tunisianinterests account for 99.76% of its ownership. Its principal shareholder is the reputable Ben Yedderfamily, whose ownership of the Bank through several vehicles constitutes a controlling interest. It hasheld its stake for many years. The Ben Yedder Group is involved in a wide range of business sectors inTunisia including manufacturing, trading, tourism, construction, insurance, leasing, factoring and health.Amen Bank maintains a good position in the Tunisian banking sector, controlling around 9% of bankingsector assets. Over the last couple of years, Amen has improved its loan asset quality through areduction in the level of non-performing loans and an increase in the provisioning coverage. However,more still needs to be done to improve both to more satisfactory levels.A recent capital increase in late 2009 through a long-term subordinated issue has strengthened theBank’s capital adequacy position. The gap between bad loans and loan-loss provisions has narrowedbut needs to fall further. Amen Bank’s liquidity position is considered adequate, balancing a highproportion of loans relative to total assets against a good base of customer deposits and a reasonablelevel of liquid assets.Amen Bank’s net profit performance to end June 2009 was good with stronger levels of net interest andnon-interest income. This improved performance in the first half of 2009 was achieved despite lowergrowth in the Tunisian economy.At end-June 2009, with total assets of USD2.7 billion, Amen Bank was Tunisia’s fifth-largest bank. Itoperates a 112-branch network with staff of around 1,025.