Standard and Poor’s, the international rating agency, upgraded its outlook of the Arab Banking Corp. (ABC) from stable to positive on Monday, July 23. The bank’s long-term credit rating remained BBB-.
The rating agency stressed “ABC’s strong Arab business franchise, stable capitalization and calming financial profile… also supported by the presence of supportive shareholders,” according to AFP news agency. Nonetheless, S&P expressed concern with regards to the bank’s reliance on short-term funding and its coparatively low performance ratios.
Bahrain-based Arab Banking Corp. is the largest Arab bank in terms of assets. The bank’s total assets for the first quarter of 2001 reached $26 million, a mere $700,000 less the total asset figure at the end of 2000.
The major shareholders of ABC, accounting for a 70 percent stake of the bank, is Libyan central bank, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Kuwaiti finance ministry. Twenty five percent of the bank’s stocks are traded on the Bahrain, Kuwait and Paris stock exchanges, whereas the remaining five percent is held by private and institutional investors. — (MENA Report)
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