Financial services firm, AFB Ghana, has had the ratings on its corporate bond upgraded for the first time since the bonds were listed on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) of the GSE two years ago.
Global Credit Ratings (GCR), the agency responsible for the ratings, announced recently that it had upgraded the final, public long term credit rating accorded to the Medium-Term Notes Programme of AFB Ghana to ‘BBB+(GH)’ from ‘BBB(GH)’ and maintained the Stable Outlook.
In arriving at the decision, GCR reports that improved loan book quality, reduction in non-performing loans and the acquisition by stronger parent company were factors in determining the ratings upgrade.
AFB Bonds are currently the only listed bonds in the country with a rating. Since the listing of it bonds to the investment community two years ago, the company has reported consistent growth in its business.
Commenting on the ratings upgrade, Managing Director of the company, Arnold Parker said “this is a significant milestone for the company as it boosts investor confidence in our bonds. We retained our rating in 2016 and this year we have seen an upgrade in the rating”.
Mr. Parker further added that “the company is preparing the grounds to delve into the next phase of growth which will see enhancing our solutions to our customers and also create value for shareholders”.
It will be recalled that afb Ghana was acquired by Letshego Holdings Limited (LHL) of Botswana a few months ago. LHL is Africa’s largest payroll lender and is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of over USD600m.
The group has financial services subsidiaries in 11 African countries including Ghana and intends to become Africa’s largest inclusive finance group.