Moody’s Ratings upgrades BADEA in Africa’s ratings to Aa1, changes outlook to stable

The decision to upgrade reflects BADEA's robust capital adequacy, bolstered by an enhanced capital position and improved asset performance

Rating agency, Moody’s Ratings has upgraded the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa’s (BADEA) foreign currency long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings to Aa1 from Aa2.

The decision to upgrade reflects BADEA’s robust capital adequacy, bolstered by an enhanced capital position and improved asset performance, despite the challenging environment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Furthermore, BADEA’s liquidity position has seen a significant improvement, evidenced by the successful recovery of its substantial liquidity buffers, which have been further strengthened by a successful capital market issuance.

According to Moody’s, BADEA continues to play a pivotal role in directing Arab investment towards the African continent which explains the high level of shareholders’ support it receives.

This support was again demonstrated by the formalisation of the US$5 billion callable capital increase granted in 2022.

The stable outlook reflects Moody’s expectations that BADEA’s strong capital and liquidity position will remain robust.

Moody’s also expects that the bank will maintain strong asset performance metrics, notwithstanding the weak operating environment in many of its countries of operation.

The decision to upgrade BADEA’s rating reflects the bank’s strengthened capital adequacy, which was already at strong levels. Leverage is low and combines with an improving trend in its non-performing loans, despite the weak credit quality of its exposures.

BADEA’s leverage ratio has remained stable at 0.7x despite the fact that the bank’s Development Related Assets (DRA) have significantly increased over the last three years from US$2.2 billion to US$3.2 billion, growing at an annual pace of 16.2% on average.

BADEA’s extraordinarily solid capital position is also projected to remain stable, given the bank’s strategic plan for moderate asset growth in the coming years. Finally, BADEA’s long-standing history of profitability, reaching US$292 million in 2023, will continue to fortify the bank’s usable equity.

The bank has consistently channeled its profits into its general reserves as retained earnings, without ever distributing any dividends, and plans to maintain this practice.

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