RAM Ratings reaffirms First Abu Dhabi Bank’s AAA rating

Published on 10 Nov 2022.

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RAM Ratings has reaffirmed First Abu Dhabi Bank P.J.S.C.’s (FAB or the Group) AAA/Stable/P1 financial institution ratings, as well as the respective AAA/Stable and AA1/Stable ratings of the senior and subordinated notes under the Group’s RM3 billion Islamic/Conventional Medium-Term Note Programme (2010/2030). 

The rating action reflects our view that FAB’s strong earnings generation and sturdy capital buffer will be sufficient to absorb further credit losses from weaker sectors of the economy. The ratings also incorporate our expectation that it will benefit from the Government of Abu Dhabi’s and the UAE federal government's extraordinary support in times of need. FAB is a domestic systemically important bank. 

Given its privileged status as the preferred bank of the Abu Dhabi government, FAB enjoys a steady flow of lending opportunities and deposit placements from government and government-related entities. Sustained traction in cash management activities kept its mix of current- and savings-account deposits at a high proportion of total customer deposits (45% as at end-June 2022). FAB’s balance sheet features notable concentration, both on the asset and liability sides. The Group maintains ample liquidity to manage the associated risks. As at end-June 2022, FAB’s liquidity coverage ratio and net stable funding ratio were above the regulatory minimum of 100%.

FAB’s asset quality indicators have improved in line with the strong domestic economic rebound. The Group does not have any loans under pandemic-related relief schemes, while restructured and rescheduled loans was a small fraction of outstanding loans as at end-June 2022. Both gross impaired loan and annualised credit cost ratios were a lower 3.6% and 0.4%, respectively as at the same date (end-December 2021: 4.0% and 0.6%).

Return on risk-weighted assets (RoRWA) remained weaker than pre-pandemic levels. Excluding the large gain from the sale of a controlling stake in a subsidiary (AED3.1 bil), RoRWA was subdued at an annualised 1.8% in 1H FY Dec 2022 (3-year average prior to pandemic: 2.7%) due to weaker investment income. But net interest margin is expected to widen in line with future rate rises. Good control of operating costs and easing impairment charges should also provide some lift to earnings going forward. The Group raked in a profit before tax of AED13.2 bil and RoRWA of 2.4% in fiscal 2021 (+21% y-o-y), thanks to robust trading income and contained impairment charges. 


Analytical contact
Chan Yin Huei
(603) 3385 2498

Loh Kit Yoong
(603) 3385 2493


The credit rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold a security, inasmuch as it does not comment on the security’s market price or its suitability for a particular investor, nor does it involve any audit by RAM Ratings. The credit rating also does not reflect the legality and enforceability of financial obligations.

RAM Ratings receives compensation for its rating services, normally paid by the issuers of such securities or the rated entity, and sometimes third parties participating in marketing the securities, insurers, guarantors, other obligors, underwriters, etc. The receipt of this compensation has no influence on RAM Ratings’ credit opinions or other analytical processes. In all instances, RAM Ratings is committed to preserving the objectivity, integrity and independence of its ratings. Rating fees are communicated to clients prior to the issuance of rating opinions. While RAM Ratings reserves the right to disseminate the ratings, it receives no payment for doing so, except for subscriptions to its publications.

Similarly, the disclaimers above also apply to RAM Ratings’ credit-related analyses and commentaries, where relevant.

Published by RAM Rating Services Berhad
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