Press Release

JCR-VIS Reaffirms Entity Ratings of United Bank Limited at AA+/A-1+
 

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Karachi, June 30, 2008: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has reaffirmed the entity ratings of United Bank Limited (UBL) at ‘AA+/A-1+’ (Double A Plus / A-One Plus). Ratings of the four outstanding subordinated debt instruments, TFC-1, TFC-2, TFC-3 and TFC-4, issued by the bank have also been reaffirmed at ‘AA’ (Double A). Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’.

As the third largest bank in the country, the bank has access to a diversified and cost effective deposit base, enjoying strong market share of deposits. Although domestic credit off-take has been relatively slow in the outgoing year, the bank continues to be a major player in the corporate and consumer segments. In addition, overseas operations have shown robust growth as the bank introduced new loan products through its operations in the Middle East markets.

UBL remains adequately capitalized on account of profits ploughed back into the business as well as subordinated TFCs issued over successive years. Profitability indicators have also remained strong despite recent changes in Prudential Regulations with respect to the elimination of the benefit of collateral earlier available against non-performing credits. UBL enjoys healthy spreads on its banking books, both on account of low cost of funds and significant proportion of high yielding products in its portfolio.

Infection levels have increased in the consumer portfolio of UBL, particularly the unsecured product lines, as has been the trend across the banking sector. JCR-VIS believes that the current economic situation puts certain leading industrial sectors and the general consumer under financial stress. Therefore, the second half of 2008 and 2009 are likely to be challenging for the banking sector as a whole, in terms of maintaining growth, asset quality and profitability.

For further information on this rating announcement, please contact Mr. Sadfar Kazi or Ms. Sabeen Saleem 5311861-72 (12 Lines) or fax to 5311873.



Faheem Ahmad
President & CEO

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Information herein was obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable; however, JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. JCR-VIS, the analysts involved in the rating process and members of its rating committee do not have any conflict of interest relating to the rating(s)/ranking(s) mentioned in this report. JCR-VIS is not an NRSRO and its credit ratings are not NRSRO credit ratings. JCR-VIS is paid a fee for most rating assignments. This rating/ranking is an opinion and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Copyright 2008 JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited. All rights reserved. Contents may be used by news media with credit to JCR-VIS.

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited