National Bank of Bahrain

National Bank of #Bahrain offers to acquire Bahrain Islamic Bank

The National Bank of Bahrain, which owns a 29% stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB), has made an offer to acquire the entire Islamic lender. Lower oil prices over the past five years are forcing Gulf lenders to consolidate for scale and to better compete in a crowded market. Subdued credit growth, competition for deposits, higher cost of funds and deteriorating asset quality are driving consolidation in the regional banking sector. In the UAE, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank merged with Union National Bank and the combined entity acquired Al Hilal Bank, creating a banking group with AED 423 billion in assets in May 2019. Similarly, in Saudi Arabia, National Commercial Bank is in the process of merging with Riyad Bank to create the Gulf’s third-largest lender with $193 billion in assets.

Moody's downgrades three Bahraini banks' ratings to Baa3/Prime-3, negative outlook

Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded to Baa3/Prime-3 from Baa2/Prime-2 the deposit, issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings of three Bahraini Banks: BBK B.S.C., National Bank of Bahrain BSC, and Bahrain Development Bank B.S.C. Concurrently, Moody's downgraded the baseline credit assessments (BCAs) of BBK and National Bank of Bahrain to ba1 from baa3. These actions follow Moody's downgrade of Bahrain's government bond ratings to Baa3 from Baa2 on 16 April 2015 and reflect (1) the government's reduced capacity of support, and (2) the challenges in view of weaker economic growth. The negative outlooks assigned to the Baa3 long-term ratings of the three banks are aligned with the negative outlook on the government's Baa3 bond rating.

Moody's takes actions on four Bahraini banks

Moody's Investors Service has today taken actions on National Bank of Bahrain, BBK, BMI Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank. The ratings agency has confirmed that National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) and BBK received Baa2/Prime-2 deposit and senior debt ratings, with a negative outlook. Regarding BMI Bank, Moody's has extended the review for downgrade on the bank's Ba1 deposit rating, and affirmed the bank's standalone E+ bank financial strength rating (BFSR) with a stable outlook, equivalent to a baseline credit assessment of b1. In addition to these actions, Moody's has also extended the review for downgrade on all the ratings of Bahrain Islamic Bank (BIsB) to reflect its extensive capital needs and ongoing uncertainties around the recapitalisation of the bank.

Top Bahraini banks face possible downgrade

Moody's Investors Service said it has placed four Bahraini banks - National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), BBK, BMI Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank (BIsB) - on review for possible downgrade of its deposit, issuer and senior debt ratings. As part of the same rating action, Moody's has also placed on review for downgrade the standalone bank financial strength rating (BFSR) of BIsB. Moody's decision comes following the potential weakening in the sovereign's capacity to provide support to the banks, as signaled by the agency's decision to place the Baa1 Bahraini government bond rating on review for possible downgrade. The sovereign review was prompted by the fiscal implications of Bahrain's high and rising break-even oil price; the outlook for lower trend economic growth in the country over the medium term and the impact of a low-growth, high government expenditure and weaker oil price scenario on Bahrain's long-term debt sustainability.

Deal to help NBB expand into Islamic banking

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) and a local pension fund will buy a 51.6-percent stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank. As part of the deal, NBB and Social Insurance Organization Asset Management Company, a unit of pension fund Social Insurance Organization, will each take a 25.8-percent stake in Bahrain Islamic for 72 fils per share. Based on Bahrain Islamic’s total outstanding shares, the value of the deal is about 34.9 million dinars ($92.57 million). The transaction will provide NBB an opportunity to expand into Islamic banking.

NBB plans to acquire Bahrain Islamic Bank

The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) is likely to acquire the loss-making Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) and give itself an Islamic finance arm. NBB’s chairman Farouk Almoayyed said that the acquisition is a business opportunity as his bank does not have an Islamic banking operation. They are confident that it will do well under their management, he added. Last year, BisB, the first Islamic bank in Bahrain, posted a net loss of BD36 million ($94.95 million). NBB however is looking strong and is keen to move into the Islamic market.

Moody's places three Bahraini retail banks on review for possible downgrade

National Bank of Bahrain B.S.C. : A3 long-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings and C- BFSR.
BMI Bank B.S.C. : Baa3/Prime-3 local and foreign-currency deposit ratings and D BFSR.
BBK B.S.C. : A3 long-term local and foreign-currency deposit ratings and C- BFSR.
Moody's decision to place the ratings of NBB, BBK and BMI on review for possible downgrade follows a similar action taken by the rating agency on 23 February, when it placed the sovereign rating of the Bahraini government on review for possible downgrade.

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