Manama, January 4, 2015

Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA) has assigned national scale credit ratings of 'A- (SD)/A-2 (SD)' (Single A Minus/A Two) to Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABS or 'the bank'). Outlook on the assigned rating is 'Stable'.

Ratings derive strength from the bank's franchise and an overall conservative approach to business. Its retail presence in Sudan, is reflected in a cost effective deposit base. ABS maintains sizable liquid reserves, with available liquidity assessed to be in excess of what may be needed to cater to unexpected withdrawals. While impairment is high in absolute terms, overall asset quality indicators have improved on a timeline basis.

The bank features general improvement in profitability, with revenues growing consistently. Capitalization levels remain notably higher than the minimum required and industry average. However, given risks in the general environment, reinforcement of capital as envisaged under the bank's strategy would strengthen its risk profile and support future balance sheet growth.

Ratings take into account the various economic and financial challenges faced by banks in Sudan. Austerity measures to control inflation have tightened the overall credit supply to the private sector, which combined with the moratorium on mortgages and motor vehicles may represent a challenge for the bank in terms of future asset growth and diversification therein.

ABS, being a directly owned subsidiary of Al Baraka Banking Group, a leading Bahrain based Islamic Banking Group, derives strategic guidance from its parent's international experience and established banking processes and systems in areas including risk management and internal controls. The overall corporate and Shari'a governance structure in place is considered adequate.

The fiduciary score has been assessed in the range of '71-75', whereby rights of various stakeholders are adequately defined. Certain weaknesses have been identified in a few governance related areas. The fiduciary score is an aggregation of scores assigned to its three sub-sections, namely Corporate and Shari'a Governance, and Asset Manager Quality.


For further information on this rating announcement, please contact the undersigned at

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