Press Release

JCR-VIS Maintains Ratings of Crescent Commercial Bank Limited at A/A-1
 

Karachi, June 28, 2008: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Ltd has maintained the entity ratings of Crescent Commercial Bank Limited (CCBL) at ‘A/A-1’ (Single A / A- One). Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’.

Ratings take into account the franchise value of Samba Financial Group (SAMBA), which is the major sponsor of CCBL. SAMBA is amongst the largest financial institutions in Saudi Arabia, with 43% shares held by the Government of Saudi Arabia and other government owned entities. The remaining shareholders of SAMBA are prominent investors from Saudi Arabia and the broader GCC region. Given SAMBA’s significant financial strength, CCBL is well poised to capitalize on its parent’s expertise in the realm of commercial, corporate, investment banking, capital markets, as well as treasury products and services. SAMBA and CCBL also expect to play an active role in introducing foreign investors, particularly from Saudi Arabia and the GCC, to Pakistan over the foreseeable future.

During the course of the previous year, the bank’s efforts were deployed towards filling key senior managerial positions as well as investing in the requisite infrastructure which has included expansion of the branch network and new technology. CCBL has also benefited from the support of its parent, SAMBA, in terms of strengthening its credit policy and procedures, enhancement of its compliance, operations, and control functions and upgrading of its technology platform. The reaffirmation of entity ratings takes into account the ongoing process of technology transfer and systems integration with SAMBA, which is expected to significantly improve the risk monitoring capabilities of the bank.

While the bank increased its deposit base during FY07, it embarked on a strategy to shed some of its expensive deposits leading to a reduction in its deposit base. This has had a positive impact on its overall cost of funds. Re-branding of the bank, which is expected soon, is expected to enhance franchise value and provide access to a relatively better priced deposit base. The initial growth in loan portfolio was focused towards unsecured consumer loans. CCBL has more recently enhanced focus on corporate lending, both on account of the deteriorating credit risk profile in Pakistan’s consumer segment as well as the sponsors’ focus on corporate lending. A corporate team has been put together and the bank plans to exploit cross-selling opportunities to enhance trade related business. Investment in human resource, IT infrastructure, and branch network is expected to continue. JCR-VIS will closely monitor progress made by the management in implementing its business strategy over the ensuing years.

For further information on this rating announcement, please contact Ms. Sabeen Saleem (Ext: 510) or Ms. Sobia Maqbool (Ext: 506) at 5311861 - 5311870 or fax to 5311873.



Safdar Kazi
Director

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Information herein was obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable; however, VIS Credit Rating Company Limited VIS does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information.VIS, the analysts involved in the rating process and members of its rating committee do not have any conflict of interest relating to the rating(s)/ranking(s) mentioned in this report.VIS is paid a fee for most rating assignments. This rating/ranking is an opinion and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Copyright 2008 VIS Credit Rating Company Limited. All rights reserved. Contents may be used by news media with credit to VIS.

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited