Moody's assigns (P)B3 to #Pakistan's sovereign #sukuk

Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a provisional (P)B3 rating to the proposed US dollar Trust Certificates to be issued by The Third Pakistan International Sukuk Company. The (P)B3 rating reflects Moody's view that the sukuk certificate holders will effectively be exposed to the sovereign credit risk incorporated in the government's issuer rating. Payment obligations represented by the securities are ranked pari passu with other senior, unsecured debt issuances of the Government of Pakistan. The rating for the Government of Pakistan captures moderate economic strength, structurally large fiscal imbalances, a high government debt burden and high susceptibility to political event risks.

Moody's: Strong Islamic #retail franchise drives profitability for #Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank despite tougher operating conditions

Moody's announced that Al Rajhi Bank's dominant Islamic retail franchise will continue to drive a strong financial performance into 2017. Despite pressure on the Saudi economy from lower oil prices, Al Rahji's retail focus delivers solid margins and asset quality. Moody's analyst Nitish Bhojnagarwala said Al Rajhi's Islamic retail portfolio drives higher financing yields and stronger margins than its peers both in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). Coupled with a modest cost base and relatively lower provisioning, this generated a solid return on assets of 2.5% for the first six months of 2016. Furthermore, strong profits, combined with solid retention rate, provide healthy internal capital generation for the bank, which had a tangible common equity ratio of 19.8% as of June 2016.

Moody's places on review for downgrade 8 government-related issuers in GCC countries

Moody's Investors Service has placed on review for downgrade the ratings of eight government-related issuers (GRIs) based in GCC countries. These issuers are: Emirates Telecommunications Grp Co PJSC, Industries Qatar Q.S.C., International Petroleum Investment Company, Mubadala Development Company, Qatar Petroleum, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Saudi Electricity Company, Saudi Telecom Company. Moody's also placed on review for downgrade the ratings of Qatari Diar Finance Q.S.C. (QDF) and the ratings on the notes issued by 1MDB Energy Limited (1MDBEL). Today's actions follow the placement on review for downgrade of the sovereign ratings of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the emirate of Abu Dhabi on 4 March 2016.

Moody's holds its first Banking and Islamic Finance Workshop in Bahrain

Moody's Investors Service will hold its first Banking and Islamic Finance Workshop in Bahrain on Wednesday 2nd of September. The workshop will focus on Bahrain's banking sector amid low oil prices and global headwinds. It ill kick-off with a presentation from Jean-Francois Tremblay, Associate Managing Director, Financial Institutions Group, surrounding key global developments within credit markets. The workshop will also provide Moody's assessment of the local operating environment and the creditworthiness of banks in Bahrain and the rest of the region. In addition, the workshop will also discuss the latest developments in the Islamic Finance sector as well as growths trends and liquidity management challenges.

Moody's affirms Masraf Al Rayan's issuer ratings: changed outlook to positive from stable

Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Masraf Al Rayan's (MAR) A2/Prime-1 issuer ratings and baa3 baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA. At the same time, Moody's changed the outlook on the bank's long term issuer ratings to positive from stable. Moody's affirmation reflects MAR's continued strong core financial fundamentals with (1) consistently strong asset quality performance, (2) strong and stable profitability and (3) solid capital buffers. The change in the outlook to positive from stable reflects the ongoing improvements in MAR's business and geographic diversification. Further underpinning Moody's view on the outlook is Qatar's considerable economic strength.

Moody's: Outlook for Indonesia's banking system remains stable

Moody's Investors Service says the outlook on Indonesia's (Baa3 stable) banking system remains stable, reflecting an expectation that the country's banks will withstand a challenging operating environment owing to their strong buffers. Nonperforming loans will likely rise, given slowing economic growth, nonetheless, the banks are well-positioned to withstand any deterioration in asset quality and will maintain strong capital levels. Moody's conclusions were contained in its just-released "Banking System Outlook: Indonesia", which expresses Moody's view of how bank creditworthiness will evolve in this system over the next 12-18 months. The report looks at the banking system in the five categories of operating environment; asset quality and capital; funding and liquidity; profitability and efficiency; and system support.

Moody's upgrades Qatar International Islamic Bank issuer ratings and changes outlook to stable

Moody's Investors Service has today upgraded Qatar International Islamic Bank's (QIIB) long term and short term issuer rating to A2/Prime-1 from A3/Prime-2, and changed baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adj. BCA to baa3 from ba1. Moody's also changed the outlook on the bank's long term ratings to stable. At the same time, Moody's assigned a new Counterparty Risk Assessment of A1 to QIIB. Moody's rating action reflects QIIB's improved and consistently strong asset quality performance and its solid capitalisation, liquidity and funding profile. These strengths are moderated by high borrower and sector concentrations, risk management challenges stemming from rapid financing growth and margin pressures driving a modest decline in profitability.

Moody's downgrades Kuwait Finance House long term ratings to A1, outlook negative

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded Kuwait Finance House's (KFH) long term ratings by one notch to A1 from Aa3. Moody's also downgraded KFH's baseline credit assessment (BCA) and bank financial strength rating (BFSR) by two notches to ba1/D+ from baa2/C- respectively. The Prime-1 short term rating was confirmed. All ratings assigned to KFH carry a negative outlook. The rating actions reflect (1) continued asset quality pressures (2) an increasing reliance on volatile investment income and (3) the current organisational complexity and overall risk profile inconsistent with global peers. The rating action concludes the review for downgrade initiated for Kuwait Finance House on 7 November 2012.

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