Alinma Rating Affirmed by Fitch at ‘A-’ with an Upgrade to Viability Rating (VR)

Fitch Ratings, one of the most credible and respected credit rating agencies worldwide,  has affirmed Alinma’s rating at ‘A-’ with a stable outlook, and an upgrade in the Viability Rating (VR).  Accordingly, the rating actions are as follows:
•    Long-term IDR affirmed at 'A-', Outlook Stable 
•    Short-term IDR affirmed at 'F2' 
•    Viability Rating upgraded to 'bbb' from 'bbb-'
•    Support Rating affirmed at '1' 
•    Support Rating Floor affirmed at 'A-'

Mr. Abdulmohsen Al-Fares, the CEO of Alinma Bank, indicated that the above rating reflects the strength of the Saudi economy, the sovereign rating and the strength and stability of the financial sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He noted that such a rating upgrade at this point in time distinguished Alinma Bank.
Mr. Al-Fares, further mentioned that the upgrade of Alinma’s VR mainly indicates the greater size, maturity and track record of its franchise. Alinma has built a more significant Islamic corporate franchise in Saudi and is building  a solid Islamic retail franchise.  It is now a strongly recognized Islamic brand in the kingdom and a more mature bank, having finished the start-up and growth phase.   It also reflects management’s strong track record of performance.  The bank has performed well since start up and we expect this to continue. 
Al-Fares added that the overall rating was also reflective of several positive indicators including the strength of the financial position of the bank, its solid capital base, liquidity, asset quality, improving profitability and credit risk management. Mr. Al-Fares also noted other important contributing factors such as the accelerated pace of growth together with its partner (client) base and the distinctive services provided to both retail and corporate partners through the bank’s 112 branches and 1,121 ATMs kingdom-wide and its comprehensive e-channel services (Alinma Internet, Alinma Mobile and Alinma Smart Phone applications).
Alinma Bank has witnessed consistent performance over the past several years; and at the close of the third quarter of 2015, its assets stood at approximately SAR 82 billion with a net income of SAR 1.08 billion.