Credit Outlook

Oct 23, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s ‘BBB(lka)’ rated Pan Asia Banking Corporation’s rating outlook has been lifted to positive from stable, on ongoing structural improvements made since 2009, Fitch Ratings said. The loan book is largely exposed to small and medium enterprises, individuals and retail customers which have been the bank’s traditional focus, Fitch said.

The agency has confirmed the banks underlying rating and also a ‘BBB-(lka)’ rating of its subordinated debentures.

“The revision of the Outlook reflects ongoing structural improvements since 2009 which, in Fitch’s view, have brought PABC’s credit metrics closer in line with those of higher-rated peers,” the rating agency said.

“The ratings also reflect PABC’s small but expanding franchise in terms of its market share of banking sector assets, loans and deposits, a high net (unprovided) non-performing loans (NPLs)/equity relative to higher-rated peers, and a developing funding profile.”

PABC’s gross NPLs (at 3.3 percent of total loans during the first half of the 2012 financial year) have improved to levels that are closer to those of higher-rated peers.

Fitch said it expected PABC’s lending growth to be capped at the regulato