Manama, 10 January 2016:

Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) is pleased to announce that Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA), a Bahrain based well reputed rating agency, has assigned national scale investment grade credit ratings of 'A- (SD)/A-2 (SD)' (A Minus/A Two) to Al Baraka Bank Sudan (ABBS or 'the bank'), its majority owned subsidiary in Sudan operating since 1984. Outlook on the assigned rating is 'Stable'.

The ratings have acknowledged ABBS' strong asset growth and favorable  diversified retail deposit base most of which comprise of current accounts, and its strong franchise and overall conservative business approach. IIRA observed that ABBS maintains sizable liquid reserves, with solid liquidity and that  asset quality indicators have improved  and are better than the banking sector average.  The capital ratio of ABBS is strong and higher than the minimum required and the average of the banking industry in Sudan and scope exists for further growth. The bank achieved a general improvement in profitability, driven by consistent increase in gross revenue supported by low cost of deposit funding.

The rating has taken into account the various economic and financial challenges faced by banks in Sudan. Besides, ABBS being a directly owned subsidiary of Al Baraka Banking Group, a leading Bahrain based Islamic Banking Group, it derives strategic guidance from its parent's international experience and established banking processes and systems in risk management and internal controls and in compliance with international regulations including anti-money laundering regulations. The overall corporate and Shari'a governance structure in place is considered good and the Fiduciary Score has been assessed in the range of '70-75', reflecting adequate fiduciary standards wherein rights of various fund providers are adequately defined and protected. The fiduciary score is an aggregation of scores assigned to its three sub-sections, namely Corporate and Shari'ah Governance, and Asset Manager Quality.

Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, the President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group and Chairman of ABBS commented that the ratings are indeed a milestone for ABBS and represents an endorsement of its good performance despite the challenging conditions, in addition to meeting the high standards of Sharia compliance and corporate governance.

Al Baraka Banking Group (B.S.C) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain, listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totaling around one billion. It is jointly rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) on the international scale and A+ (bh) (long term) / A2 (bh) (short term) on the national scale with a Stable outlook by Islamic International Rating Agency & Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited, and by Standard & Poor's at BB+ (long term) / B (short term) with a Stable outlook. Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorized capital of Al Baraka is US$ 1.5 billion, while total equity is at about US$ 2 billion.

The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in fifteen countries, which in turn provide their services through over 600 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, including two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.


© Press Release 2016