Commercial Bank Bangladesh marks a decade at the top with 10th successive ‘AAA’ rating

Friday, 2 October 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Representatives of the senior management of Commercial Bank’s Bangladesh operation with the AAA rating certificate (from left) Financial Controller Binoy Gopal Roy, Senior General Manager Dilip Das Gupta, CEO Varuna Kolamunna and Chief Operating Officer Kapila Liyanage 

  • Awarded highest credit rating presented by Credit Rating Information and Services

The Bangladesh operations of Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC achieved another milestone in 2020 with the assignment of an ‘AAA’ (Triple A) long term credit rating for the 10th consecutive year by Credit Rating Information and Services Ltd. (CRISL).

Commercial Bank of Ceylon Bangladesh also received a short term rating of ‘ST-1 – Outlook Stable’ from CRISL, the premier rating agency in Bangladesh.

AAA and ST-1 are the highest credit ratings given to a financial institution in Bangladesh by CRISL for long and short term credit respectively. The latest ratings are valid till June 2021.

“Receiving the highest available credit rating for 10 successive years is a new paradigm in consistency, especially when the volatility of local and global economies is considered,” Commercial Bank Managing Director and CEO S. Renganathan said. “As the first Country Manager of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon Bangladesh operation, I am delighted with this achievement and congratulate our Bangladesh team for keeping the ComBank flag flying high in that country.”

The CRISL rating is the outcome of an in-depth analysis of the operational and financial performance of the bank along with relevant quantitative and qualitative factors. The basis of the evaluation was the financial results of the bank up to 31 December 2019 and subsequent factors that prevailed up to the date of the rating.

While assigning the rating, CRISL factored the strong current fundamentals of the bank such as good asset quality, lower NPL ratio, excellent return on assets, lower cost to income ratio, good capital adequacy and profitability, adequate liquidity, good market image, IT and MIS infrastructure and experienced top management, the bank said.

Commercial Bank entered Bangladesh in July 2003 with the acquisition of the Bangladesh operations of Credit Agricole Indosuez (CAI), its first ever acquisition of a banking operation. The French multi-national bank operated two branches and two booths in Bangladesh at that time, and the Balance Sheet size of the operation and its profit after tax were BDT 6,138 million (Rs. 13,425 million)  and BDT 212 million (Rs. 470 million) respectively.

Over the 16 years that followed, the Commercial Bank of Ceylon Bangladesh Operation has established itself above other regional banks operating in the country with 11 branches, six SME Centres and two Offshore Banking Units. The Balance Sheet size of the operation and profit after tax as at 31 December 2019 were BDT 74,069 million (Rs. 162,004 million) and BDT 1,679 million (Rs. 3,712 million) respectively.

The bank said it attributes this success to unique products and services, superior service quality by dedicated professionals, efficient and customised solutions to corporate and personal banking needs.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon Bangladesh operation has been adjudged ‘Best Foreign Bank Bangladesh 2019’ based on 2018 results by the UK-based magazine ‘Global Business Outlook (GBO)’ and ‘Best Foreign Bank Bangladesh 2020’ based on its 2019 performance by the UK-based magazine ‘The Global Economics.’

Credit Rating Information and Services Limited has been operating since 1995. It is a closely held public limited company operating as a rating agency under a license from the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, and benefits from the equity participation and technical assistance of Rating Agency Malaysia Berhad, VIS Credit Rating Company Ltd. of Pakistan, Faysal Bank Ltd. of Pakistan, Investment Corporation of Bangladesh and a host of celebrated professionals of the country.

The first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for ten years consecutively, Commercial Bank is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The bank, which won more than 50 international and local awards in 2019, operates a network of 268 branches and 875 ATMs in Sri Lanka. 

Besides its Bangladesh operation, Commercial Bank’s overseas presence encompasses Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon and a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the bank has a fully-fledged Tier I bank with a majority stake.