By Babajide Komolafe
Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s), a global rating agency has affirmed the B2 long term deposit ratings of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
In the same vein the rating agency upgraded the bank’s outlook from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’.
Explaining the rationale for its decision, Moody’s said: “The affirmation of First Bank’s B2 long-term deposit ratings reflect the affirmation of the bank’s b3 BCA and Moody’s ongoing expectation of a high probability of government support, leading to one notch of uplift from the BCA.
“First Bank’s b3 BCA reflects the bank’s improving asset quality, resilient pre-provision profitability and robust liquidity metrics. These strengths are moderated by the bank’s still-high level of problem loans and modest capital buffers as indicated by its nominal leverage metrics.
“The stable outlook reflects the stable outlook on Nigeria’s government issuer rating. First Bank has a large exposure to sovereign securities at 268% of its tangible common equity as of June 2021.”