Fitch Ratings on December 13 upgraded Agribank Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BB+' from 'BB' with a “Stable” outlook.
The upgrade with a "Stable" outlook for Agribank was driven by the upgrade of Vietnam's sovereign rating from "BB" to "BB+" and expectation of better operating environment, i.e. the economy to continue to recover and grow robustly over the medium term, buoying banking sector business prospects, and expectation that Agribank's asset-quality performance to stabilize in the near term as well as risk-adjusted profitability to continue to improve on account of improving operational efficiency and liquidity score.
Fitch Ratings also believes that the Vietnamese Government is likely to support Agribank in times of need, considering Agribank's important role in the Vietnamese banking system with the largest scale in terms of branch network and strategic role in supporting agricultural and rural development, one of the main driving forces of the economy. With the advantage of an extensive operational network and close connection with the Government, Agribank has generally been a net lender in the interbank market with stable funding profile.
Agribank continues to affirm its brand as a financial institution that is highly appreciated by domestic and international organizations for its prestige and plays a key role in the financial market in Vietnam with many prestigious titles such as: Top 10 Vietnam's largest enterprises, Top 10 Most valuable brands in Vietnam in 2023, Top 10 most prestigious banks in Vietnam in 2023, Excellent information technology systems in the field of Digital Banking, Leadership in contactless penetration growth by JCB, etc.
Agribank is a wholly state-owned bank with the special mandate in supporting and developing Vietnam’s agriculture and rural sectors. Agribank's credit programs have been making very important contributions to poverty reduction, promoting the restructuring of the agricultural sector and building new rural areas of the country, contributing to the breakthrough development of agriculture, affirming its role to the economy.
Agribank is currently the bank with the largest retail system in Vietnam with 2,223 branches and transaction offices; 1 branch in Cambodia; 3 representative offices in the Central, Southern and Southwest regions and more than 3,500 ATMs, including 573 CDMs and Agribank Digital Kiosks. In addition, Agribank has been actively implementing ESG practices, for a green future and sustainable development.- (Nguyet Que)