Fitch revises BOAD’s rating outlook to stable from negative and affirms its rating at BBB
Lome, 17 November 2021. Fitch Ratings has revised the outlook on the West African Development Bank’s (BOAD) long-term issuer default rating to stable from negative and affirmed the rating at ‘BBB’. The revision of the outlook is driven by a strengthening in our assessment of the Bank shareholders’ capacity to support following recent upgrades of the ratings of Cote d’Ivoire to ‘BB-‘ from ‘B+’ in July, and Benin to ‘B+’ from ‘B’ in October 2021, in the context of improved macroeconomic outlook.
As a reminder, BOAD’s outlook was revised to negative from stable in May 2020 to reflect the risk of weakening in shareholder support for BOAD following a downgrade of France alongside WAEMU institutions and member countries. Fitch now highlights that BOAD’s support-driven rating would not be impacted even if France’s sovereign rating was downgraded, all else unchanged.
BOAD’s standalone credit profile (SCP) is ‘BB+’, unchanged from the previous review, reflecting the Bank’s strong fundamentals. Among key rating drivers, Fitch pointed to strong shareholder support, adequate capitalization and liquidity levels with good coverage of short-term debt by liquid assets as well as its proven access to capital markets Fitch’s decision confirms BOAD’s financial soundness and resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The institution commends this improvement in rating that comes at the right time; despite the restrictions imposed by the health situation, it has been implementing since January 2021 its new 2021-2025 strategic plan, referred to as “Djoliba”.
This plan will enable the Bank, over the next five years, to strengthen its operational capacity for the benefit of WAEMU countries and private sector through a much-needed capital increase and the use of tools to optimize its balance sheet.
As part of its new sector-based approach, its areas of activity have already been strengthened to include health, social housing, education and IT sectors, among others, as well as climate finance which is central to its financing strategy.
Throughout its 48-year history, BOAD has contributed to the funding of 1,234 projects from WAEMU member countries and private companies for a total amount of XOF6,592.7 billion (or €10.05 billion).
This is good news for all BOAD staffs and a reward for their daily efforts to preserve and strengthen the Bank’s reputation as one of Africa’s best-rated development finance institutions.
Reacting to the revision of the institution’s rating outlook, President Serge Ekue stated: “We welcome this good news which comes as a result of the soundness of our accounts, the relevance of our vision for the region and a positive collateral effect of the upgrading of Benin’s and Côte d’Ivoire’s ratings, combined with the reassessment of the impact of France’s rating review on our Institution.
Support from our shareholders, and particularly from our countries, is the bedrock of our credibility and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of them for their relentless support. These new prospects pave the way for ongoing reforms, including the capital increase process on which we have been working at full stretch for many months”.
About the West African Development Bank
The West African Development Bank (BOAD) is the common development finance institution of the member countries of the West African Monetary Union (WAMU). It is an international public institution whose purpose, as provided under Article 2 of its Articles of Association, is to promote the balanced development of its member countries and foster economic integration within West Africa by financing priority development projects. It is accredited to the three climate finance facilities (GEF, AF, GCF). Since 2009, BOAD sits as an observer at the UNFCCC and actively participates in discussions on devising an international climate finance system. Since January 2013, it has been home to the first Regional Collaboration Centre (RCC) on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), whose aim is to provide direct support to governments, NGOs and the private sector in identifying and developing CDM projects. The Bank is committed to carbon neutrality by 2023 and is an active member of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) bringing together 24 national, regional and bilateral development banks.
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