Intercontinental Bank leads in Standard & Poor’s corporate Nigeria rating

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) world’s leading international credit risk rating agency, has assigned ngA+/ngA-1 long and short term Nigeria national scale ratings to Intercontinental Bank Plc, the first to be assigned to any corporate organization operating in Nigeria.

These ratings according to the statement by S & P in London last weekend, affirm Intercontinental Bank’s creditworthiness despite operating in an environment characterized by high economic risks.

S & P had earlier pronounced the bank’s international rating as BB-, which is the highest for any Nigerian bank just as Nigeria’s sovereign rating is also capped at BB-.

According to the statement, Intercontinental Bank’s funding and liquidity profile is robust with a large liquid asset cushion. The loan-to-deposit ratio measured 60% at August 31, 2008 and cash and money market instruments accounted for 40% of total assets.

S&P’s credit analyst, Mathew Pirnie, said “Intercontinental Bank is a Tier 1 Nigerian bank with good presence in the high-end corporate, commercial, public and retail sectors. It was the first bank to reach the Nigerian Naira 1 trillion deposit mark, due to a strong retail deposit portfolio”.

Although the analyst raised concerns about Nigerian economy, he was of the view that Intercontinental Bank’s good capital position, strong market position, and a robust funding and liquidity profile, will mitigate the concerns.

Fitch Ratings had earlier affirmed Intercontinental Bank Plc’s National Long-term ratings at A+. The interpretation according to analysts is that the bank is a low risk financial institution. The agency also affirmed the bank’s international rating at B+, which is the highest for any Nigerian bank as at date.

Intercontinental Bank was declared “Bank of the Year”, recently in London. The Bank emerged tops after rigorous analysis of its financial and business profile along with other banks in Nigeria.


The award is a confirmation of a similar recognition by other reputable international organizations such as African Banker Magazine, and the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Daily which declared Intercontinental Bank African Bank of the Year and Financial Brand of the year respectively, at the spring meeting of the World Bank/IMF in Washington DC, USA

The bank has evolved into one of the largest and most diversified financial services institutions in Nigeria. It also boasts of over 300 branch network spread across the country, linked by cutting-edge IT infrastructure.

Submitted by Emeka Anaeto, Head, Corporate Communication, Intercontinental Bank

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