Moody's Upgrades Foreign Currency Rating and Base Credit Assessment; with Stable outlook;

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In a significant development that lauds its strategic growth and resilience, Bank Nizwa, the Sultanate of Oman's leading Islamic bank, has been recognised for its exceptional performance as Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) upgraded its long-term foreign and local currency deposit ratings to Ba1 from Ba2. Furthermore, Moody's recent rating action included upgrading Bank Nizwa's Base Credit Assessment (BCA) and Adjusted BCA ratings from b1 to ba3. This significant achievement highlights the bank's outstanding financial prowess and underscores the success of its strategic initiatives.

While the upgraded deposit rating is influenced by government support, the BCA rating serves as a testament to Bank Nizwa's standalone creditworthiness. With these upgrades, Bank Nizwa now stands on par with major banks, marking a significant milestone in its journey of excellence in the finance sector.

Commenting on the development, the Chief Executive Officer said, “The recent upgrades by Moody's are a resounding acknowledgment of Bank Nizwa's resilience and stability. Our robust capitalisation, coupled with the consistent trajectory of improving profitability, has been underscored by these upgrades, further solidifying our position in the financial landscape.”

He added saying, “The upgraded credibility bestowed by Moody's upon Bank Nizwa resonates powerfully with both investors and depositors. It signals not only a validation of our financial soundness but also instils confidence in our capacity to navigate economic uncertainties and financial challenges efficiently. Furthermore, these upgrades represent a reiteration of the core value proposition we extend to our esteemed customers. It emphasises our commitment to delivering fully Sharia-compliant financial solutions that align with their diverse needs and aspirations.”

Bank Nizwa has made strategic advancements, fostering cautious growth and fortifying Risk Management systems. This concerted effort is distinctly reflected in the bank’s financial performance metrics and its robust capital position. The stable outlook for Bank Nizwa's long-term deposit ratings mirrors the stable outlook assigned to the Sovereign Ratings of the Government of Oman. Within this framework, Moody's foresees the bank's resilient solvency buffers playing a pivotal role in balancing factors such as asset risk, concentrated funding, and restricted liquid resources.

The upgraded BCA to ba3 from b1 demonstrates Bank Nizwa's unwavering commitment to robust risk management, epitomised by the establishment of an in-house internal risk model and the adoption of the IFRS9/FAS30 accounting standard. This upgrade is also a direct result of the bank's judicious approach to growth, prioritising sustainability in its practices. Furthermore, the elevation of Bank Nizwa's long-term deposit ratings, aligned with the upgraded BCA, reaffirms the enduring collaborative partnership between the bank and the government.

Looking forward to the next 9-18 months, Bank Nizwa envisions a positive trajectory, expressing optimism about Oman's anticipated elevation to Investment Grade status. In parallel, Bank Nizwa is poised to emulate this achievement, further cementing its position among esteemed financial institutions in the region.

As the most-trusted Islamic bank in the country, Bank Nizwa continues to navigate the evolving financial terrain, and remains rooted in its dedication to providing unparalleled service and value to customers, investors, and the broader financial community.

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