By Our Reporter
Fitch Rating, one of the top International Credit rating agencies worldwide based out of New York and London has assigned Uganda Development Bank Ltd (UDB) a Long-Term Issuer Default rating (IDR) of B+ with a Stable Outlook.
A credit rating is an assessment of the creditworthiness of a borrower in general terms or with respect to a particular debt or financial obligation. A credit rating can be assigned to any entity that seeks to borrow money — an individual, corporation, state or provincial authority, or sovereign government.
UDB is a state-owned development bank and its Issuer Default Ratings are driven by its Support Rating and Support Rating Floor of ‘4’ and ‘B+’, respectively, which reflects Fitch’s view of a high propensity of Ugandan authorities to support the bank in case of need. This is due to:
(1) UDB’s important, longstanding and clearly defined policy role in financing the country’s priority sectors as part of the bank’s mandate of contributing to economic growth and social development
(2) UDB’s 100% state-ownership
(3) Significant funding guarantees and ordinary capital contributions from the state.
UDB is Uganda’s primary development bank and its unique business model would be difficult to replicate by other domestic financial institutions. It is owned by government and overseen by the Ministry of Finance. Fitch Rating believes the sovereign funding guarantees that UDB receives will remain in place over the medium term. The bank’s policy role and strategic importance to the state is also evidenced by the government’s annual capital contributions, which have been committed until 2022. Fitch Rating’s assessment makes consideration for the government’s ‘B+’/ Stable IDR.
“The Stable Outlook on UDB’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating mirrors that on the sovereign,” the credit rating agency highlights.
The Managing Director UDB, Patricia Ojangole expressed pleasure upon this achievement. “This rating casts confidence in the institution in terms of our credit processes, governance and unwavering support from government, this process has provided our partners with an impartial opinion about the soundness of our business,” she remarked.
The Association of African Development Finance Institutions rating Uganda Development Bank Limited is a member of the The Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) and therefore adopted the Prudential Standards, Guidelines and Rating System (PSGRS) by which members assess themselves to the standards and guidelines for Development Finance Institutions across Africa. In adopting these standards and guidelines, UDB achieves two objectives in particular:
• Examine the institution’s operations in terms of how well they comply with good corporate governance principles and in identifying weak areas which need to be addressed.
• Assist Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and/or other supervisory authorities to custom-design supervisory procedures that better address some aspects of the Development Finance Institution’s operations that differ fundamentally from commercial bank operations.
In 2018, UDB was rated the Best Performing Development Finance Institution in Africa by the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) with an A+ rating on its 8th peer review of AADFI member Institutions.
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