S&P Affirms Credit Ratings, Stable Outlook of Access Bank on Merger with Diamond

Impressed by Access Bank’s record of accomplishment in mergers and acquisitions, S&P Global Ratings has affirmed its ratings on the lender at ‘B/B long term issuer credit ratings with a stable outlook, saying that Access Bank’s forensic approach mitigates the merger risks.

The top rating agency noted that over the medium term, the acquisition would help Access Bank strengthen its franchise and revenue generation capabilities, stressing that the merger of the two entities would likely boost earnings capacity, with return on equity increasing close to 20 per cent by 2020. The New York, United States based financial information and analytics firm also revised its outlook on Diamond Bank Plc to stable from negative and affirmed the ‘CCC+/C’ issuer credit ratings.

In a report published on Wednesday, the agency stated that the stable outlook on Access Bank reflected “expectation that the transaction will likely boost the bank’s earning capacity in the next 12 months, thus cementing its competitive position among top-tier banks in Nigeria.

Nigerian Tribune, Page 12