(The first version was posted at 10:59)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.2 / Trend N.Ismayilova /
International Rating Agency Fitch Ratings has affirmed Azerbaijan-based Kapital Bank's (KB) Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B+', with a Stable Outlook, the Agency said in its report on Thursday.
KB's rating reflects Fitch's view of the potential for support from the Azerbaijan authorities ('BBB-'/Positive) if needed, given the bank's important role in distributing pensions through the largest country-wide branch network, its active involvement in government-financed operations and the close informal relationships between the bank and its shareholders and government authorities.
At the same time, the rating also considers the bank's satisfactory liquidity position, supported by largely matched asset and liability maturities, the absence of material non-government wholesale funding and a significant cash cushion which covered roughly 65% of end-Q311 customer funding.
At end-Q311 a substantial 55% of the portfolio comprised policy loans funded by the Azerbaijan authorities and guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance. A further 20% of loans were unseasoned related party construction exposures.
The rating actions are as follows:
Long-term IDR: affirmed at 'B+'; Outlook Stable
Short-term IDR: affirmed at 'B'
Viability Rating: affirmed at 'b-'
Support Rating: affirmed at '4'
Support Rating Floor: affirmed 'B+'
KB was the second-largest bank in Azerbaijan by assets and retail deposits at end-2011. At present, the main shareholder of Kapital Bank is Pasha Holding, which owns 97.75 percent of shares.