Moody’s assigns investment grade credit rating of Baa2 to Security Bank

Moody’s Investor Service (Moody’s), in its rating action report released on Monday August 29, 2016, has assigned a first-time credit rating of Baa2 to Security Bank Corporation.

This rating puts Security Bank at the same credit rating as the country’s biggest banks — BDO, Metrobank and BPI. In the Philippines, only these four private domestic universal banks are rated Baa2.

This is also the same rating level as the Philippine Government and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The Moody’s report cited “Security Bank’s asset quality profile which compares favorably with its peer banks in the Philippines. At end-June 2016, the bank’s NPLs accounted for 0.8% of gross loans, a result which was better than the average for the banking system of 2.2%. Its coverage for NPLs was also higher than peer banks, at 229% at end-June 2016.”

Moody’s also cited Security Bank’s “strong capital buffers, boosted by the recent capital infusion from its new strategic partner, The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi-UFJ (BTMU). The bank’s reported Common Equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 18.6% at end-June 2016, an improvement from the 12.2% seen at end-2015, and largely boosted by the capital infusion from BTMU, the bank’s new strategic shareholder, as well as retained earnings.”

Moody’s pointed out that Security Bank’s “profitability metrics are stronger than its domestic peers. Its return on assets was at 1.4% at end-2015, higher than the 1.0%-1.2% registered by other Moody’s-rated Philippine banks.”

In particular, Moody’s has assigned the following first-time credit ratings and assessments to Security Bank:

  • Baa2 long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings; stable outlook
  • Baa2 long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings; stable outlook
  • The long term and short term Counterparty Risk Assessments (CR Assessment) assigned to Security Bank are at Baa2(cr).