Riyadh – Mubasher: Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook of six Saudi banks to ‘Stable’ from ‘Negative’ in addition to affirming their Foreign Currency and Local Currency Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BBB+', according to a press release.
There are five listed banks included, namely the Arab National Bank (ANB), Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), Alinma bank (Alinma), Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB), and Bank Aljazira (BAJ), besides Gulf International Bank - Saudi Arabia (GIB KSA).
“The Stable outlook on these banks' Long-Term IDRs reflects that on the Saudi sovereign rating,” Fitch noted.
The rating agency said there is high probability of support for all lenders from the Saudi authorities, if needed.
In terms of the environmental, social, and governance standards, Islamic banks like Alinma and BAJ need to ensure compliance of their entire operations and activities with the Shariah principles and rules. Fitch elaborated that this entails additional costs, processes, disclosures, regulations, reporting, and Shariah audit.