Press Release

JCR-VIS reaffirms the ratings of United Bank Limited at AA/A-1+
 

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Karachi, June 27, 2006: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has reaffirmed the entity ratings of United Bank Limited (UBL) to AA/ A-1+ (Double A/ A-One Plus). The ratings of unsecured, subordinated TFC-1 and TFC-2 and have also been reaffirmed at AA- (Double A Minus). JCR-VIS has assigned a preliminary medium to long term rating of AA- (Double A Minus) to the proposed ‘third’ issue of unsecured, subordinated Term Finance Certificate of Rs. 2b. The outlook on ratings is ‘Stable’.

The ratings incorporate UBL’s extensive outreach and franchise value that allows it to access and maintain a strong market share of deposits, the benefits of which are evident in the diversification and cost effectiveness of its funding base. JCR-VIS believes that the bank has also shown significant progress during the last couple of years in terms of growth in balance sheet size and profitability. In addition to the growth in corporate credits, it has increased its focus towards consumer banking and has achieved a sizeable market share in the segment. However the quality of this portfolio would be tested over a period of time given that the portfolio has not completed an economic cycle. The bank has maintained capitalization at an adequate level through a mix of profit retention and issuance of subordinated debt to supplement its equity. Owing to a substantial increase in credit demand during the last few years, the liquidity position of commercial banks in general has changed significantly with relatively high loan to deposit ratios and low liquidity cushions. Nevertheless, JCR-VIS believes that UBL is still in a relatively strong position given the diverse nature of its deposits, and its management taking a cautious stance towards future growth.

JCR-VIS has also incorporated the support of the existing sponsors including the Government of Pakistan that continues to hold a sizeable stake in the bank.

For further information on this rating announcement, please contact the undersigned (Ext: 221) or Ms. Sabeen Saleem (sabeen@jcrvis.com.pk / Ext: 222) at 5671822/5671833/5680996 or fax to 5681105/5671600.



Safdar Kazi
Advisor

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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 2006 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