Agusto & Co Assigns a ‘Bb’ rating to SunTrust Bank

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Nigeria’s first credit Rating Agency and a pan African leader in credit reports, Agusto & Co. limited whose strong credibility presence and ratings are globally accepted in Nigeria, and across the globe has just assigned a “Bb” rating to SunTrust Bank Nigeria Limited.

The rating assigned to Sun Trust Bank Nigeria Limited (‘Sun Trust ’or‘ the Bank’) is underpinned by acceptable liquidity and strong share holders’ support. The rating is constrained by weak profitability, high impaired credits, concentration in the loan book, high funding costs and low market share. However, we note positively, various initiativesintroducedbythenewmanagementteamtorepositiontheBankasanemergingcommercialbankon a growth trajectory.

According to Agusto & Co. 2019 Bank Industry Report, Nigerian banks continue to display resilience despite macroeconomic, operational and regulatory setbacks. This resilience is expected to persist on the back of untapped opportunities in the large proportion of unbanked businesses and the retail segment. With the five recently licensed banks in the first half of 2019, the competitive landscape in the Industry is expected to intensify. Operators that would thrive in this environment would be banks that embrace technology and innovation in productdevelopmentandservicedelivery.Partnershipswithfinancialtechnologyfirmsandimprovedagency banking activities would help drive financial inclusion in the country. While the large corporates continue to account for a significant portion of the Industry’s revenue, Agusto & Co. envisage   moderate rise in commercial, retail and SME income in the medium term driven by regulatory mandates from the apex bank.

The Industry’s profitability outlook will depend on its ability to curtail additional losses from its set to enlarge loan book, drive non-interest income through the on boarding of more clients to electronic banking platforms and increase trading activities in currency and securities. Cost management initiatives on variable cost components are vital to offset rising regulatory obligations, particularly AMCON levies and NDIC fees.