The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) received its first international long-term issuer rating of A- with a stable outlook from the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR).
The rating reflects the strong support that Afreximbank receives from its shareholders, its preferred creditor status, its strong earning capacity and the crucial role the Bank plays in supporting key African Union (AU) initiatives.
JCR noted in its assessment Afreximbank’s growing prominence in African trade, citing the Bank’s involvement in critical initiatives that underpin the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a key indicator.
In a statement released yesterday, Afreximbank said this new rating also captures the Bank’s key strength in structured trade finance, demonstrating its ability to reduce the risks of its loan portfolio.
JCR observes that “in these circumstances, the Bank mitigates credit risk through measures including the use of the structured trade finance system to transfer payment risk to counterparties with higher creditworthiness, insurance and collateral. “.
Afreximbank’s obtaining an A- rating from a second rating agency is an important step, coming to the end of its current strategic plan.
It supports the achievement of one of the fundamental pillars of the strategic plan, namely financial soundness, which helps the Bank to mobilize competitive financial resources on the continent.
A strong credit rating gives assurance to investors who support Afreximbank’s fundraising activities, as it demonstrates strong creditworthiness, thereby attracting funding on competitive terms.
The Bank plans to execute a debt capital market transaction in Japan and this high rating from JCR is essential as it gives lenders and investors confidence in the Bank’s credit profile.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, Chairman of Afreximbank, said in his commentary: “The A- rating assigned to Afreximbank is an affirmation of the strengthening of the Bank’s credit profile, underpinned by a strong risk management culture. We are also pleased that the work of the Bank in supporting initiatives such as the AfCFTA is recognized and its importance rewarded.
“This high rating, which comes as the Bank prepares to embark on a new five-year strategic plan, gives new impetus to our fundraising activities. This will have a positive impact on Afreximbank’s ability to fulfill its mandate.
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