Fitch Ratings, a global leader in credit ratings and research, has affirmed Wema Bank’s Long-term National Rating at BBB-, a statement by the bank said on Wednesday.
The statement quoted Segun Oloketuyi, the Managing Director of the bank as saying that the rating was a reflection of the improvement in creditworthiness of the bank.
Fitch, in its rating, said Wema Bank’s strengths, which underpin its long- and short-term ratings, include its strong risk management culture, low non-performing loan (NPL) exposure and good liquidity levels.
“The bank’s affirmed rating further reinforces its resolve to remain a smarter and efficient Bank,” Fitch said.
In Fitch’s opinion, the banking industry in Nigeria will remain challenging considering volatile and low oil prices, continued disruptions in oil production and constraints regarding the FX liquidity.
Fitch said that the industry could witness a rise in NPL ratios, though strong capital ratios helped absorb the one-off negative FX shock.
“Furthermore, the FX devaluation could impact consumer demand. However, Wema’s Viability Rating (VR) is affirmed, as such, the Stable Outlook.
“The Long-term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Wema remains on Stable Outlook as the rating is driven by its Viability Ratings (VR) and there is no expectation of any material change in the bank’s intrinsic creditworthiness,” Fitch said.