Nine Nigerian banks have had their ratings lowered by the international rating firm Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s downgrade of 9 banks came after Nigeria’s ranking recently dropped. Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Limited, and Sterling Bank Plc were among the banks mentioned in a statement issued on the company’s website as being affected.
The long-term deposit ratings, issuer ratings, and senior unsecured debt ratings (where applicable) of each of the nine lenders were all downgraded by the international rating agency Moody’s from B3 to Caa1, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
The outlook on the long-term deposit ratings, issuer ratings, and senior unsecured debt ratings (where applicable) of the nine rated Nigerian banks was likewise modified by Moody’s to stable.
“Today’s rating actions follow Moody’s downgrade on January 27, 2023 of the long-term issuer rating of the Government of Nigeria to Caa1 from B3, and change in the outlook to stable,” the statement said.
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The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has expressed amazement at the negative rating inflicted on nine banks in Nigeria amid the cash crisis shaking the banking sector.
Despite the fact that her ministry had outlined all of the work they had been doing to stabilize the economy, she claimed it still came as a surprise to her.
“Let me say that Moody’s report or downgrade came as a surprise to us.
“But it is an external rating agency that doesn’t have the real understanding of what has happened in the domestic environment” she said.
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The minister was upbeat on Nigeria’s S&P rating, which would be released on soon.
“S&P’s assessment is not the same as Moody’s. They have come out with a much better assessment,” the minister said.