Fitch Affirms Stanbic IBTC Bank at ‘AAA(nga)’

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London – 29 October 2019: Fitch Ratings has affirmed the National Long-Term Ratings of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (SIBTC) and its non-operating holding company, Stanbic IBTC Holding Company PLC (SIBTCH), at ‘AAA(nga)’ and National Short-Term Ratings at ‘F1+(nga)’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.

KEY RATING DRIVERS

NATIONAL RATINGS AND SENIOR DEBT

The ratings of SIBTC and SIBTCH are based on potential support from their ultimate parent, South Africa’s Standard Bank Group (SBG; BB+/Negative), which owns 65.9% of SIBTCH (which in turn owns 100% of SIBTC).

The National Ratings reflect SBG’s ability to support the subsidiaries and the group’s willingness to do so. The ability to support considers SBG’s ‘BB+’ Long-Term IDR as well as Nigeria’s Country Ceiling of ‘B+’.

Fitch believes that SBG’s willingness to support the group’s Nigerian subsidiaries is high. Factors considered include SIBTCH’s and SIBTC’s role in the group as SBG’s main operations in West Africa, the ownership size and high operational integration. Fitch believes that SBG’s support if needed, would extend equally to the bank and the holding company.

SIBTCH is the holding company for SBG’s Nigerian operations. Its main operating entity SIBTC, a mid-tier bank with a leading corporate and investment banking franchise, forms 96% of the holding company’s assets.

Fitch has also affirmed the National Long-Term Ratings on SIBTC’s NGN30 billion senior unsecured notes and the National Long and Short-Term Ratings on the NGN150 billion structured note programme for senior unsecured debt.

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RATING SENSITIVITIES

NATIONAL RATINGS AND SENIOR DEBT

Given Nigeria’s Country Ceiling of ‘B+’, SIBTCH’s and SIBTC’s National Ratings could withstand up to a two-notch downgrade of SBG’s ‘BB+’ Long-Term Foreign-Currency IDR before they would be affected. Downside risk to the ratings could also stem from a decline in SBG’s willingness or ability to provide support, or from a change in SBG’s stake, resulting in a loss of control.

A downgrade of Nigeria is unlikely to result in a downgrade of SIBTCH’s or SIBTC’s National Ratings.

The ratings on the senior notes and programme are sensitive to changes in SIBTC’s National Long-and Short-Term Ratings.

RATING ACTIONS
ENTITY/DEBT RATING PRIOR
HIDE RATING ACTIONS
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC
Natl LT
AAA(nga)
Affirmed
AAA(nga)
Natl ST
F1+(nga)
Affirmed
F1+(nga)
Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC
Natl LT
AAA(nga)
Affirmed
AAA(nga)
Natl ST
F1+(nga)
Affirmed
F1+(nga)
senior unsecured
Natl LT
AAA(nga)
Affirmed
AAA(nga)
senior unsecured
Natl ST
F1+(nga)
Affirmed
F1+(nga)