Press Release

JCR-VIS assigns an ‘A’ rating to Crescent Commercial Bank Limited
 

Karachi, June 5, 2007: In March 2007, SAMBA Financial Group (SAMBA) acquired a 68% shareholding in Crescent Commercial Bank Limited with the issuance of 600m new shares at par. The board has been reconstituted with 6 nominees from the majority shareholder. A cash injection of Rs. 6b has rendered the bank well capitalized for the foreseeable future and has allowed it ample room for growth. In view of the above, JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co Ltd. has improved the medium to long-term rating of Crescent Commercial Bank Limited to ‘A’ (Single A) from ‘BBB’ (Triple B) and a short-term rating of ‘A-1’ (A-One).

Samba Financial Group is 43% owned by the Government of Saudi Arabia and other government owned institutions while the remaining shareholders include prominent investors from the region. It is amongst the largest financial institutions in Saudi Arabia and the GCC with an equity base of US$3.9b and total assets of US$ 33b as at December 31, 2006.

Before the acquisition of shareholding by SAMBA, the bank’s operations had remained marginal for almost a year, resulting in insufficient revenues to absorb the cost of team building in 2006. With a considerable increase in resources now available to the bank, earnings are likely to improve significantly in the ensuing quarters. Deposit growth has also since picked momentum. Ratings had previously been placed on ‘Rating Watch-Positive’ status in view of the expected investment from SAMBA, which has now been removed. A ‘Positive’ outlook has been assigned with the ratings which is indicative of a possible improvement in ratings in the near term. The outlook relates to our expectation of further team building, expected sharing of technology resources with the majority shareholder, and the full scope roll-out of the bank’s business strategy.

For further information on this rating announcement, please contact Mr. Safdar Kazi (Ext: 604) or Ms. Sabeen Saleem (Ext: 608) at 5311861 - 5311870 or fax to 5311873.



Faheem Ahmad
President & CEO

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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 2007 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