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    Fitch Assigns United Bank For Africa’s USD1.5bn GMTN Programme Final Rating ‘B’

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    Naija247news Editorial Teamhttps://www.naija247news.com/
    Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

    Fitch Ratings – London – 17 Nov 2021: Fitch Ratings has assigned United Bank For Africa’s (UBA) USD1.5 billion global medium-term note programme (GMTN) final long- and short-term ratings of ‘B’.

    Fitch has also assigned UBA’s USD300 million 6.75% senior unsecured notes (senior notes) due 2026, to be issued under the GMTN programme, a final rating of ‘B’ and a Recovery Rating (RR) of ‘RR4’.

    The GMTN programme allows for borrowings for various tenors in the form of both senior unsecured and subordinated debt notes. The final programme ratings are in line with UBA’s Long- and Short-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of ‘B’, and apply only to senior unsecured notes issued under the programme.

    In the case of subordinated debt issuance, the issue’s features will require further evaluation for the purpose of assigning a rating. There is no assurance that all notes issued under the programme will be rated or that all rated notes will be aligned with the programme rating.

    The assignment of final ratings to both the GMTN programme and senior notes follows the receipt of final documents conforming to information already received by Fitch.

    KEY RATING DRIVERS

    SENIOR DEBT

    The senior notes issued under its programme constitute direct, unconditional and unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the bank and rank at least pari passu with all other outstanding unsecured and unsubordinated obligations of the bank.

    The programme’s and senior unsecured debt ratings are in line with UBA’s Long- and Short-Term Foreign-Currency IDRs, reflecting Fitch’s view that the likelihood of default on senior unsecured notes issued under this programme is the same as the likelihood of UBA’s default. The senior unsecured debt’s ‘RR4’ reflects average recovery prospects upon the bank’s default.

    The IDRs of UBA are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as reflected in its ‘b’ Viability Rating (VR). The VR considers UBA’s exposure to the Nigerian volatile operating environment, but also the bank’s healthy profitability and adequate capitalisation, which provide reasonable capacity to absorb losses from an economic downturn (see ‘Fitch Affirms United Bank For Africa at ‘B’; Outlook Stable’, dated 21 September 2021, at www.fitchratings.com for more details on the bank’s financial profile and rating drivers and sensitivities).

    RATING SENSITIVITIES

    Factors that could, individually or collectively, lead to negative rating action/downgrade:

    The programme ratings would be downgraded if UBA’s IDRs are downgraded.

    Factors that could, individually or collectively, lead to positive rating action/upgrade:

    An upgrade of the programme ratings would come from an upgrade in UBA’s IDRs, which in turn, would require a sovereign upgrade and a strengthening of the bank’s capitalisation.

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