GCR has ascribed A1 and A+ to Diamond Bank Plc's National Short-term and Long-term ratings respectively in November 2008. By the international rating agency definition, A1is ascribed to banks with very high certainty of timely payment of customers obligation. Liquidity factors are excellent and supported by good fundamental protection factors. Risk factors are minor. On the other hand, A+ is high credit quality. Protection factors are good. However, risk factors are more variable and greater in periods of economic stress.
According to GCR Co statement, Diamond Bank A1 and A+ ratings are based on the following parameters:
- The acquisition of substantial stake by ACTIS investment, a leading private equity fund with $4.8bn under the management is a vote of confidence in the bank. This partnership is expected to facilitate the Bank's access to long-term debt funding and Tier 2 capital by leveraging on Actis international alliances.
- During the accounting year 2008, the Bank was able to raise additional USD500m (N59.1bn) in equity capital in the form of Global Depository Receipts. The offer, which was fully subscribed, lifted the total capital/assets ratio from 14% to 16%.The bank's risk weighted capital adequacy ratio amounted to 21%.
- Assets quality appeared acceptable.
- The Bank's total operating income grew by 50% to N44.2bn in the accounting year 2008. Following the strong increase in capital and assets during the year, the Bank's ROaE and ROaA declined from 15.6% and 2.2% to 13.8% and 2.1% respectively.
- GCR also noted that Diamond under performed its peer group in terms of growth across the past 3years. In 2005, Diamond Bank accounted for 23% and 33% of the peer group's capital and net income respectively, which had both fallen to around 15% in 2008.
GCR Co also noted that Diamond Bank has embarked on aggressive branch roll out, taking branch numbers to 169, with a target of 300 branches by 2010. This advent increase the bank's total deposits by 83% in the year 2008, displaying a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 70% over the 4 years since consolidation. An analysis shows that companies accounted for 56% while deposits by individuals and financial institution accounted for 37% and 7% respectively as the accounting year end 2008, compared favorably with the industry average. The bank's liquidity risk is managed through the maintenance of highly liquid balance sheet, a short dated advances books, supported by substantial lines with both local and international institutions.
Diamond Bank has maintained strong advances. Gross advances amounted to N271bn as at 2008 financial year end representing 128% growth over the previous year. Exposures were strategically focused to the mid-tier corporate market. This was diversified by economic sector. In 2008 financial year, NPA was up by 71% projected result by 3%. The bank targets a minimum branch network of 240 across the country and a presence in additional 3 Franco phones West African countries during 2009 financial year end. Hence, Management has forecasted a further 67% growth in deposits for 2009 based on the planned increase in the Bank's branch network.