Strong Performance Prompts Positive Outlook for Fidelity Bank

By Joke Kujenya

WITH A STABLE outlook, Fidelity Bank PLC has received a significant boost as Fitch Ratings revised its Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) stance to Positive from Stable, affirming its rating at ‘B-‘.

The bank’s National Long-Term Rating was also affirmed at ‘A(nga)’.

In a statement released on Friday, Fitch expressed confidence in Fidelity Bank’s capitalization prospects, highlighting expected core capital issuances to meet the new paid-in capital requirement of N500 billion for banks with an international licence by the end of the first quarter of 2026.

“Fidelity’s IDRs are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as expressed by its Viability Rating (VR) of ‘b-‘.

The VR balances the concentration of operations in Nigeria’s challenging operating environment, very high credit concentration, and high Stage 2 loans against a growing franchise, sound profitability metrics, good capital buffers, and reasonable foreign-currency (FC) liquidity coverage,” the statement noted.

The rating agency recognized Fidelity Bank as Nigeria’s sixth-largest bank, holding 5% of domestic banking system assets at the end of 2023.

Recent strong balance-sheet growth has bolstered the bank’s market share, with expectations for continued growth, though still below the top five largest banking groups.

Fitch also addressed potential factors for a negative rating action or downgrade, including the possibility of a sovereign downgrade that could affect Fidelity’s VR and Long-Term IDR.

However, this scenario is deemed unlikely given the Positive Outlook on Nigeria’s Long-Term IDRs.

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