PACRA Upgrades Entity Ratings of Allied Bank Limited.

The Rating Agency, through its Entity Rating Report issued on July 6th 2018, has upgraded Long-Term Rating of Allied Bank Limited to the highest level as “AAA” (Triple A) while  Short-Term Rating of the Bank is already maintained at the highest level of “A1+” (A One plus). The AAA rating denotes the lowest expectation of credit risk. The rating is assigned to entities exhibiting exceptionally strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments, which is highly unlikely to be adversely affected by foreseeable events.

Allied Bank Limited is one of the top five banks of the country in terms of its deposit share. The bank’s franchise, spread over a network of 1,250 branches and 1241 ATMs, has enabled sustainable footprints into the country’s deposit base. The bank’s risk absorption capacity, as reflected in its sound equity base, has grown more than the market average over the years. This is supplemented by a significantly higher CAR (22.4% at Dec-end), beyond the industry average. The bank has adopted a multi-faceted approach to augment its relative standing in the market. Increased attention is being diverted towards deepening of current business relationships and an enduring emphasis has been laid on building trade business.

The bank’s technology platform is its strength. This has facilitated fast and effective decision making while extending quality conventional and digital services to its customers. The related benefits would continue to unfold over the years. The bank remains focused on increasing its footprint in the market with consistent increase in number of branches / ATMs along with gradual penetration in digital banking.

The ratings recognize the management’s concerted efforts in sustaining the sound asset quality, while expanding its advances portfolio. The low infection ratio and high coverage ratio are considered positive. The concentration in lending portfolio is in line with bank’s strategy of lending to large sized financially strong private groups and public sector entities. The continued strengthening in retail deposit market would enable further improvement in deposit granularity in terms of concentration as well as funding cost. At the same time, achieving efficiency in terms of utilization of its healthy CAR may help in further boosting ABL’s market share and profitability.

The management’s ongoing concerted efforts towards enhancing diversification in its revenue stream, achieving reduction in overall concentration, higher penetration in retail deposits and continuous improvement in cost structure remain important.

About the Entity

ABL is a large sized Bank with a system share of ~7% as at end-Dec17 in the total deposits of the industry. Ibrahim Group (IG), through Ibrahim Holdings Pvt. Limited, owns 84% of shareholding in ABL. Apart from interest in financial sector; IG is also engaged in manufacturing of polyester and yarn. ABL has a growing subsidiary – ABL Asset Management Company (sustained 7% share in AUM’s of industry at end-Mar18). The eight members BoD include the CEO, three sponsoring directors, two independent directors and two non-executive directors. Mr. Tahir Hassan Qureshi, associated with ABL for the last nine years, has been designated as the CEO since Jan-17. He has previously been serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Bank. He is supported by a management team of experienced executives.