|RAM Ratings upgrades UOB Malaysia’s financial institution rating to AAA|
|Business & Markets 2012|
|Written by theedgemalaysia.com|
|Monday, 30 July 2012 15:45|
KUALA LUMPUR (July 30): RAM Ratings has upgraded United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd’s (UOBM)long-term financial institution rating, from AA1 to AAA; and reaffirmed the short-term rating at P1.
In a statement Monday, the rating agency said it had concurrently also upgraded the rating of the Bank’s RM500 million Subordinated Bonds (2010/2020), from AA2 to AA1.
“The outlook on both long-term ratings has been revised from positive to stable.
“The 1-notch differential between UOBM’s AAA long-term financial institution rating and the AA1 rating of its Subordinated Bonds reflects the subordination of the debt facility to the Bank’s senior unsecured obligations,” said RAM Ratings.
The rating agency said that the rating upgrade took note of UOBM’s loan-quality indicators that have been consistently well placed among AAA-rated banks, as well as the sustained improvement in the Bank’s profit performance.
It said that notably, UOBM’s gross impaired-loan ratio of 1.8% as at end-March 2012 was better than the banking system’s average of 2.5%.
In addition, its credit-cost ratio had improved to 0.4% as at end-December 2011 (end-December 2010: 0.7%), it said.
The bank’s credit fundamentals are envisaged to hold up even though the default rates for its property loans are expected to inch up as its portfolios season, following the rapid growth in the last 2 years, it said.
“In tandem with its stronger loan growth, UOBM’s pre-tax profit jumped from RM0.8 billion in fiscal 2010 to RM1.0 billion in fiscal 2011; this resulted in a healthy return on assets of 1.7% and a return on equity of 23.5%. For the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the Bank registered a pre-tax profit of RM258.8 million.
“Meanwhile, UOBM possesses a stable funding profile. Its tier-1 and overall risk-weighted capital-adequacy ratios of a respective 11.6% and 13.8% as at end-March 2012 underline its healthy capitalisation levels, which act as a buffer against potential credit losses,” said RAM Ratings.