Fitch Ratings, one of the leading global rating agencies, has upgraded Fidelity Bank Plc’s long-term issuer default rating (IDR) from ‘B-’ to ‘B’, reflecting the bank’s increased creditworthiness.
Fitch also upgraded the bank’s National Long-Term Rating to ‘A(nga)’ from ‘BBB+(nga)’.
According to the rating agency, the upgrade is a result of the Bank’s improving business profile and resilient financial metrics.
It further clarified that the improved rating reflected the bank’s increased creditworthiness relative to other issuers in Nigeria, stressing that “Fidelity’s Long- and Short-Term IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b’”.
Similarly, Fitch noted that the VR reflected healthy asset quality, good business profile and reasonable capitalisation and liquidity, which are balanced against high sensitivity to Nigeria’s challenging operating environment as well as higher credit concentration as a percentage of equity and weaker profitability than larger domestic-rated peers.
Speaking on the latest ratings by the agency, Fidelity Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, said: “Receiving this upgrade at a time when the global economy is faced with a myriad of challenges, speaks to the strength of our business model, the efficacy of our risk management culture and the commitment of our staff towards creating sustainable value for all stakeholders.
“As a bank, we will continue to execute our growth strategy in a prudent manner that allows us to take advantage of emerging opportunities in our various markets”, Onyeali-Ikpe added.