Agusto & Co Assigns Crownrise Finance B+

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Agusto & Co has assigned a B+ rating on Crownrise Finance Plc.

The rating according to Agusto & Co was supported by the adequate capitalisation of Crownrise Finance Plc. Agusto & Co also attached a “positive outlook” to the rating based on the expected improvement in the funding profile, increased earnings and profitability of Crownrise Finance Plc.

“This also represents a positive outlook for investors in our medium term investment and funds placement products,” the Managing Director/Chief Executive, Crownrise Finance Plc, Mr. Babatunde Rufai-Lariba said.

Crownrise Finance Plc is one of Nigeria’s first generation finance companies licensed in 1992 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Following the industry challenges triggered by the 2008/2009 global economic meltdown, the company emerged with a capital base well above industry threshold and now operates from its recently acquired Corporate Head Office in Lagos.

While the B+ rating affirms the impact of recent efforts of the company’s Board of Directors, led by Mr. Jonathan Babalola, a former Director of Other Financial Institutions Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to reposition the company to play critical role in the rejuvenation of the country’s economy, Agusto and Co, however, stated that the rating was constrained by some structural framework issues, including weak funding profile.

Commenting further, Rufai-Lariba, said: “The current board is committed to positioning the company as a leader in financing SMEs for profitable contribution to the economy while ensuring sound corporate governance and strong risk management practices, which commenced with raising the company’s capital base above the regulatory threshold.

“Having achieved capital base above the regulatory threshold, the board and management have commenced implementing strategic measures to strengthen the risk management framework and enhance management capacity by recruiting highly experienced professionals with sound track record of performance.

“We have also commenced moves to attract more funding from the investment community in order to increase the funding profile of the company.

“These measures will enhance the ability of Crownrise Finance Plc to generate more loans, improve on our service delivery and deliver improved returns to our shareholders.”