S&P’s top rating catapults BIBD into global orbit
on: October 31, 2015
| Azaraimy HH |
GLOBAL ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has assigned an investment grade credit rating of A- with a stable outlook to Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), the largest bank in the Sultanate, its managing director announced yesterday.
The rating acknowledges the bank’s strong capacity to meet its financial commitments and makes BIBD the safest and top-rated financial institution in Brunei Darussalam, Javed Ahmad said.
With the top rating it received from one of the world’s leading credit agencies, the bank is now looking to bolster its operations in alliance with other major Islamic banks such as those in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and other countries, he said, addressing a press conference.
With this recognition, Javed said, “BIBD will be more than honoured in providing international financing services such as issuance of letter of credit to its clients, for which the bank had to seek the help of other financial institutions and pay them in the past.
“Brunei depends heavily on imported goods and importers generally ask us to issue letters of credit to guarantee payment to the suppliers. With the global rating, our customers will be able to use letters of credit issued by BIBD. Similarly, exporters can also be better served,” Javed said.
“We are extremely humbled to receive such a strong rating from Standard & Poor’s. This rating positions us as the highest-rated and safest bank in Brunei. It is also an acknowledgement of our capabilities, dedication and strong fundamentals that have enabled us to become Brunei’s top financial institution, as well as the market leader,” the managing director said.
“The factors that earned BIBD the A- rating are our solid capital position, strong liquidity profile, low financing-to-deposit ratio and sound funding capabilities. We maintain a robust asset quality as we adopt the principle of balancing sound risk management with growth opportunities, making BIBD a prudent yet progressive bank,” he added.
BIBD is set for brighter times ahead with the announcement of the A- credit rating which solidifies its position as one of the best in the Asean region. It also cements the bank’s position as the leading financial institution in Brunei which is on par with the highest-rated banks in Asean in terms of technology, product range, and customer service, Javed said.
“Backed by a strong and talented workforce, BIBD remains committed to its mission in upholding international standards and ensuring the bank’s sustainable growth for many years to come. Additionally, the ‘Bruneian at Heart’ concept allows the bank to have a better understanding of the local market to continuously help advance the nation and its people,” Javed said.
“We look to leverage this latest global recognition as it further showcases our strength, reliability, and resilience in leading Brunei’s banking industry,” he added.
As the market leader with the largest distribution network in Brunei, BIBD’s total assets have grown from $4.868 billion in 2010 to $7.6 billion in 2014.
Currently, the bank has a Tier 1 Capital Adequacy Ratio of 22.9 per cent, much higher than any other bank in the country. Its financing-to-deposit ratio stands at 50.8 per cent, which is a lot lower than any other Brunei bank.