S&P Global Ratings, Fitch Ratings and Moody's on April 3 took ratings actions on First Gulf Bank PJSC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC following the completion of the banks' merger.
S&P affirmed National Bank of Abu Dhabi's AA-/A-1+ long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings and removed the ratings from CreditWatch with negative implications. The outlook is stable.
S&P withdrew the A/A-1 long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings of First Gulf Bank, which ceased to exist after its merger with National Bank of Abu Dhabi took effect March 30.
Meanwhile, Fitch upgraded First Gulf Bank's long- and short-term issuer default ratings to AA-/F1+ from A+/F1, its viability rating to "a-" from "bbb," its support rating floor to AA- from A+ and removed them from Rating Watch Positive. The agency also affirmed the bank's support rating at 1. All ratings were subsequently withdrawn.
The upgrade reflects that First Gulf Bank is to be liquidated after the merger, while its assets and liabilities have been assumed by NBAD.
Fitch at the same time affirmed National Bank of Abu Dhabi's long- and short-term issuer default ratings at AA-/F1+, with a stable outlook on the long-term rating. Also affirmed were the bank's "a-" viability rating, which was also removed from Rating Watch Negative; 1 support rating; and AA- support rating floor.
The removal of NBAD's viability rating from Rating Watch Negative reflects Fitch's view that the bank will retain its flagship status after the merger and continue to benefit its funding and lending franchise.
Moody's also upgraded First Gulf Bank's long-term local- and foreign-currency bank deposit ratings to Aa3 from A2 and revised the outlook to negative from positive. The bank's long-term counterparty risk assessment was upgraded to Aa2(cr) from A1(cr).
The short-term local- and foreign- currency bank deposit ratings and the short-term counterparty risk assessment were affirmed at P-1 and P-1(cr), respectively, while baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments were affirmed at "baa2."
Moody's said it will also withdraw all of First Gulf Bank's ratings.
Moody's affirmed National Bank of Abu Dhabi's long- and short-term local- and foreign-currency bank deposit ratings at Aa3/P-1, with the outlook on the long-term rating remaining negative.
The agency also affirmed the bank's long- and short-term counterparty risk assessment at Aa2(cr)/P-1(cr) and its baseline and adjusted baseline credit assessments at "a3."
S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.