For the first time Moody's assigned credit ratings to Kazakhstan AMB

19.09.02 00:00
/REUTERS, New York, September 19, 02/ - For the first time international rating agency Moody's assigned ratings to Kazakhstan AM-bank - Ba3/NP on long-term, short-term deposits in foreign currency (positive outlook), D- on the level of financial stability (stable outlook). AM-bank is the fourth in Kazakhstan according to the size. The agency marked that giving of rating to AMB is caused by the bank's size, and stably good financial indicators, high quality of assets and competent work of the governing body. Besides, Moody's supposes that improvement of economic situation in Kazakhstan and high prices for raw stuff, including oil, may become the factors of AMB rating strengthening in the future. At the same time, Moody's pays attention on the fact that quick development of AMB at the moment may become a binding factor for AMB financial stability: the agency warns that mistakes made in this process are the factor of risk for the bank's financial situation. Before AMB was named Almaty Trade bank. Its consolidated assets according to International accounting standards (IAS) equaled by June 30 of 2002 to KZT48.7bn ($318.6m). Below is the message, which was distributed by the agency on Thursday (in English): NEW YORK, Sept 18 - Moody's Investors Service has assigned first time ratings to ATF Bank (formerly known as Almaty Merchant Bank) of Ba3/NP with a positive outlook for long- and short-term foreign currency bank deposits, and D- (stable outlook) for Bank Financial Strength. ATF Bank's long-term deposit rating of Ba3 is placed at the country ratings ceiling for such deposits in Kazakhstan. The rating is underpinned by the relative size of the bank - the fourth-largest in the country in terms of assets. Moody's says that a consistently strong financial performance has resulted in assigning ATF Bank a D- Financial Strength Rating (FSR) with a stable outlook. The good asset quality and low level of related-party lending support the FSR, adds Moody's. However, at the same time, the FSR is constrained by the bank's current rapid development; any potential mismanagement of this process could exert downward pressure on the FSR, the rating agency cautions. A high level of borrower and industry concentration also represents a limiting factor for any possible upswing in the rating. The ratings also reflect ATF Bank's strong and capable management team and dynamically growing corporate franchise, which underpin the improvement in the bank's financial results. The bank's ratings may receive support as a result of Kazakhstan's improving economic conditions and continuing high international commodity prices - particularly oil, adds Moody's. ATF Bank is headquartered in Almaty and reported total IAS consolidated assets of KZT48.7 billion (US$318.6 million) at 30 June 2002. [2002-09-19]