Fitch Ratings Levels Azerbaijani Private Bank’s Rating to Sovereign

Business Materials 6 August 2008 15:49 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 August / corr. Trend I.Khalilova / Fitch Ratings has assigned Azerbaijan-based Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan (MFBA) ratings of Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'BB+', Short-term IDR 'B', Individual 'D/E', Support '3' and Support Rating Floor 'No Floor'. The Outlook for the Long-term IDR is Stable.

According to the abovementioned indexes, the AMFB stands in the highest level amongst the Azerbaijani private financial institutions and possesses powerful organization of international shareholders, as well as, managing with risks, the bank said. Azerbaijan's rating is specified with BB+ level.

According to the Fitch's report, the Individual rating reflects MFBA's small size by international standards, risks arising from its rapid growth, and certain weaknesses in the operating environment. However, it also takes into account its recent strong profitability, good corporate governance by local standards, satisfactory asset quality to date (albeit on a highly unseasoned portfolio) and the bank's leading market position in the domestic microfinance market.

"This rating is indicator of financial stability and reliability of our bank. I hope that this rating will give great confidence to each Azerbaijani citizen that they have chosen the AMFB as the best partner, which can solve all banking issues," Andrew Pospilovski, the general manager of the bank, said.

Fitch Ratings is one of leading worldwide rating agencies and its ratings have the international recognition.

The Micro Finance Bank of Azerbaijan (MFBA) was opened in Baku on 29 October 2002. It is a closed type, joint-stock bank, owned by six shareholders: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the German government's development agency KfW Development Bank, German consulting company LFS Financial Systems GmbH, which is also responsible for the management of the Bank, and microfinance consultants Access Holding.

MFBA was established in 2002 as a bank specialising in microfinance lending. Other shareholders of MFBA are Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (20%), Access Microfinance Holding (16.5%) and LFS Financial Systems GmbH (3.5%).

The exchange rate for US dollar is AZN 0.8096 on 5 August.

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