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    Agusto Upgrades Wema Bank Funding SPV Series II Bond to ‘Bbb+’ with Stable Outlook

    06 Jan 2023

    Ratings agency Agusto & Co. has upgraded Wema Bank Funding SPV Plc’s Series II Bond to ‘Bbb+’, with a stable outlook, from the previous ‘Bbb’ score. The Issuer is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by Wema Bank Plc (‘’the Bank’’ or ‘‘the Sponsor’’) for the issuance of debt securities.

    Agusto in its latest rating assessment said it upgraded the rating of Wema Bank Funding SPV Plc’s Series II N17.7 billion seven-year fixed rate bond to ‘Bbb+’ as a result of significant improvement on key metrics of assessment.

    The rating assigned to the bond is hinged on the Sponsor’s upgraded rating of ‘Bbb’ and is a notch higher given that 45% of the bond proceeds was invested in a 13.53%, 7-year Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bond and held in the custody of the Joint Trustees,’’ Agusto & Co. stated in the report.

    It further noted that ‘Bbb+’ assigned Wema Bank affirmed the leading financial institution’s improved profitability, satisfactory asset quality and liquidity profile.

    ‘‘In the unlikely event of a default, this provides some recovery prospects. The upgrade in the rating assigned to Wema Bank reflects its improving profitability metrics, satisfactory asset quality and liquidity profile,’’ the report added.

    Commenting on the report, Wema Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ademola Adebise, stated: ‘‘Wema Bank welcomes with excitement this latest positive assessment. This important rating adds to the series of positive outlooks that credible independent global ratings agencies have given to our bank which affirms the resilience of our bank as a stable financial institution. We are buoyed by these positive affirmations to recommit delivering innovative banking and financial solutions that foster inclusive growth for individuals and businesses, and more importantly pushing further Wema Bank’s frontiers as a major enabler of national economic growth.’’

    Agusto & Co. explained that the rating validity for the bank subsists up until 10 September 2023, but noted, however, that constraining these positive factors are the elevated operating cost profile, the harsh regulatory environment and prevailing macroeconomic headwinds.

    In similar vein, global rating agency Fitch affirmed Wema Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B-‘ with a Stable Outlook, Viability Rating (VR) at ‘b-‘ and National Long-Term Rating at ‘BBB (nga)’, in July 2022.

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