Dubai's Emirates NBD will see profitability returning to pre-pandemic levels by 2022

Ratings agency affirms lender's long-term deposit ratings, changes outlook to stable

  
General view of Emirates NBD Bank in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

General view of Emirates NBD Bank in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Moody's Investors Service expects the profitability of Dubai’s Emirates NBD to be more resilient than its peers, reflecting the benefits from the bank's strong ties with the Dubai government and large corporates, large retail franchise, geographical diversification in the region and large scale operations.

Moody’s has changed the outlook on long-term bank deposit and senior unsecured ratings of Dubai-based lender Emirates NBD to stable from negative. The stable outlook balances the rating agency's assessment that Emirates NBD will restore its strong profitability to the pre-pandemic levels by 2022.

The ratings agency also affirmed the A3 long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings and A3 senior unsecured rating of Emirates NBD, and (P)A3 backed senior unsecured MTN programme foreign currency rating assigned to the funding vehicle EIB Sukuk Company Ltd.

It also affirmed the ENBD's Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) and Adjusted BCA at ba1. At the same time, the rating agency also changed the outlook on long-term bank deposit and senior unsecured ratings of ENBD to stable from negative.

Although economic activity in certain sectors in the UAE (such as hotel and restaurant, airline, automotive, trade, tourism and retail sectors) is recovering, but it remains well below the 2019 levels.

Despite the operating conditions challenges, in Moody's view the Dubai’s biggest lender continues to demonstrate resilience, with strong capital and liquidity buffers which are expected to remain unaffected during the outlook period.

Furthermore, the bank’s early digital adoption is a key differentiating factor amid social distancing measures, the agency said.

The ratings agency said upward pressure on Emirates NBD's ratings could develop through "a material improvement in its asset quality, combined with a significant and sustained reduction in its credit concentrations".

On the flip side, downward pressure could develop from a material deterioration in its capitalisation, or a significant weakening of its funding and liquidity, it added.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)

brinda.darasha@refinitiv.com

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