S&P Global raised its long-term issuer credit rating on Emirates Development Bank (EDB), to AA from AA-, with the outlook remaining ‘Stable’. Being the highest credit rating given to a financial institution in the UAE and across the MENA region, the upgraded rating from S&P places EDB with the highest rating among the UAE and the MENA region’s issuing banks.

The upgrade reflects the improved clarity of EDB’s strategic mandate to enable economic development and industrial growth in the UAE. It also highlights the Bank's remarkable growth and achievements since the launch of its renewed mandate three years ago.

The rating agency positively highlighted EDB’s strong financial risk profile, the strong economic factors and credit conditions in the UAE, and the Bank’s strategic focus on financing SMEs and corporates within the five priority sectors that support the UAE’s economic transformation.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Chairman of Emirates Development Bank, commented, “The upgraded rating for EDB marks a historic moment for the UAE’s banking industry and is a testament to the rapid strides the UAE has made in strengthening its global competitiveness. Through the support and guidance of the UAE’s leadership, EDB is successfully delivering its mandate, ensuring it maintains its position as a catalyst for economic growth and a key financial enabler of the UAE’s Industrial Development Strategy.

“The upgraded rating by S&P with a stable outlook demonstrates continued confidence in EDB’s ability to deliver its mandate and the strength of its strategic approach to development financing. This reinforces the Bank’s pivotal role in redefining the national industrial landscape while contributing significantly to the diversification and resilience of the national economy; driving the UAE’s global competitiveness,” he added.

Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said, “Our focus on prioritising economic impact across key development sectors and raising our contribution to the nation’s industrial GDP are setting EDB up for long-lasting success and rapid lending growth. This AA credit rating by S&P Global is a testament to the Bank’s successful delivery of its mandate and patient debt approach to financing projects. It is also an affirmation of EDB’s strategic role as a provider of innovative financing solutions and banking services that drive the trust and confidence of clients to grow their business with us while enabling economic growth.”

“With the upgraded credit rating, we are emphasising EDB’s successful track record to become the reference development bank in the region. This contributes to the expansion of national industrial capabilities across the emirates in line with the UAE’s sustainable development vision,” Al Naqbi explained.

In April 2021, EDB’s strategy has placed focus on specialising its financing to propel the growth of five priority sectors that are crucial to the UAE’s national development agenda: manufacturing, advanced technology, food security, healthcare, and renewables. This has resulted in a significant increase in the Bank’s total financing which has reached an unprecedented volume of AED11.3 billion to date since the launch of its strategy in 2021.