ABU DHABI, 28th April, 2022 (WAM) — Rating agency Fitch has affirmed Emirates Development Bank’s (EDB) Long-term Issuer Rating (IDR) as ‘AA-’ with Stable Outlook. The bank, which is a key financial enabler of the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, has also been assigned an ‘aa-’ Government Support Rating (GSR).
The ‘AA-’ Fitch rating is a validation of EDB’s new strategic direction which was launched last year to support and empower the implementation of the country’s industrial development strategy, facilitate the adoption of advanced technology, empower the growth of SMEs, and encourage start-ups and innovation, within five priority sectors of focus: manufacturing, advanced technology, infrastructure, healthcare and food security.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of EDB, said: “The AA- rating is a reflection of EDB’s strong performance over the last 12 months, under a new strategic direction that has transformed it into a key enabler of the UAE’s industrial transformation and economic diversification. The rating demonstrates clear confidence in the bank’s leadership and operational excellence, as well as in the continued strength of the UAE economy. The EDB is playing a pivotal role in supporting the national economic agenda by offering flexible financing solutions to SMEs and large corporates in priority sectors, and by applying specialized mechanisms that evaluate not just credit risk and project viability but also developmental impact, in this way the EDB is not merely acting as a bank, but as an essential tool for the UAE’s economic development.”
Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, Chief Executive Officer of EDB, said: “We are pleased to see that Fitch has affirmed Emirates Development Bank’s AA- rating, which underlines their continued confidence in our strategic direction and operational performance. Thanks to the steadfast support of EDB’s board, our committed stakeholders and our loyal customers, our model has proven its resilience and agility. The AA- rating affirmation, reflects EDB’s capital base strength and forecasted growth in its lending operations.”
In its report, the IDRs are equalized with the UAE sovereign rating and reflect an extremely high probability of support from UAE authorities, if needed.
Following the launch of its new strategy, EDB has been able to contribute AED1.91 billion to the UAE’s GDP growth. This has been achieved through indirect and direct financing to SMEs and large corporates sponsoring industrial projects across five priority sectors.