Fitch affirms BPI’s investment grade
Fitch affirms BPI’s investment grade
BPI, along with BDO and Metrobank, are seen to maintain relatively high core capitalization in the medium term

MANILA, Philippines – Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) announced Monday, May 4 that it received affirmation of its investment-grade rating from FitchRatings.

The international ratings agency affirmed a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of BBB-, a Viability Rating (VR) of bbb-, a Short-Term Foreign-Currency IDR of F3, and outlook as stable.

BBB ratings cite good credit quality and low expectation of default risk.

BPI was the first bank to receive investment-grade rating from Fitch in April 2013.

The rating was also affirmed in April 2014.

In its announcement, Fitch states that BPI’s “ratings are supported by [the bank’s] greater appetite for growth, prudent management, solid credit profile, stable funding base, sound capitalization, and steady and high profitability.”

Fitch also notes that the risk profiles will be maintained over the near to medium-term amid robust economic growth in the Philippines.

“We take pride in the affirmation of our investment-grade rating. The rating reflects the prudent way by which the bank is managed, and its ability to strike the right balance between stability and growth,” BPI President and Chief Executive Officer Cezar P. Consing stated.

Apart from BPI, Fitch also affirmed its ratings for BDO Unibank Incorporated (BDO) and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank).

The Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) on Metrobank were affirmed at ‘BBB-‘ with stable outlook, and VR affirmed at ‘bbb-‘. BDO’s (BDO) IDR was affirmed at ‘BB+’ on positive outlook, and its VR affirmed at ‘bb+’.

Fitch expects the banks to maintain relatively high core capitalization in the medium-term, in light of new regulation requiring domestic systemically-important banks (D-SIBs) – which are likely to include BPI, BDO, and Metrobank – to hold even more capital from 2017 onwards.

“In addition, ongoing initiatives by the regulator to monitor potential asset quality issues and strengthen the banks’ prudential practices are appropriate in Fitch’s view,” the ratings agency said.

Visit FitchRatings to know more. –

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