S&P Global Ratings has revised its credit rating outlook for DFCC Bank from negative to stable while affirming 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term issuer credit ratings on the bank. In its assessment of DFCC's business position, the Bank is projected to maintain its satisfactory market position and business stability over the next 12-18 months.
The stable rating reflects the rating agency’s confidence in the financial institution’s ability to navigate operating conditions in Sri Lanka and maintain its financial profile in the coming months. At the same time, it has affirmed its 'B' long-term and 'B' short-term issuer credit ratings on DFCC Bank while affirming its senior unsecured debt ratings on the bank.
Further, the rating agency noted that an improvement in the bank's risk position balances a decline in the bank's risk-adjusted capital under its new updated methodology. It anticipates bank's loan growth to be 14%-18% while profitability is likely to remain stable, with healthy net interest margins and fee income balancing credit costs.
DFCC's credit costs are expected to increase somewhat in the next 12-18 months due to sluggishness in an economy in the past 18 months and elevated interest rates. However, S&P expects losses to remain well within its normalized loss expectations. The bank's loan growth has been lower than the industry average and the proportion of granular retail assets has increased in the past few years.
Commenting on the latest rating, Lakshman Silva – CEO, DFCC Bank, said,
“We are pleased that S&P has recognised that DFCC Bank’s fundamentals keep improving the deposit base increasing, loan to deposit ratio moving in the right direction and NP ratio within industry average.
The upward revision of the rating outlook fully justifies the decision of the Board taken last year to sacrifice short-term profitability in exchange for long-term stability.”