Junk Rating On Barclays Africa

Staff Writer | The Republic Mail

By Staff Writer

Moody’s said that it had assigned a first-time rating to Barclays Africa Group’s long-term and short-term foreign currency issuances at one notch below investment grade, or Ba1.

This is in line with the South African sovereign credit rating, as banks cannot be rated above the sovereign. Barclays Africa’s local currency rating remained investment grade at Aa3, Moody’s said in a statement on Tuesday.

Barclays Africa already had a rating from S&P Global Ratings and had engaged Moody’s earlier this year to provide an additional holding company rating, said Parin Gokaldas, head of treasury execution services at the banking group. Absa Bank already had a Moody’s rating, but due to ongoing issuance of regulatory capital instruments at the holding company level, securing an additional rating made sense. Having multiple credit ratings would lead to a deeper pool of investors and enhance liquidity in regulatory capital instruments issued by the group, he said.

Moody’s said that the rating assigned to Barclays Africa captured its good capital buffer, healthy equity-to-assets ratio, solid profitability and liquidity metrics, and the group’s diversified operations, Moody’s said in a statement.

“However, the rating also captures the challenging operating conditions, in both SA and the wider sub-Saharan Africa region, which expose [Barclays Africa] to asset quality pressures.”