(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Sept 26 -
-- Kazakhstan-based Temirbank's earnings generation capacity has recovered with demonstrated positive preprovision income, so we no longer deduct one notch from the issuer credit rating for this factor.
-- We have revised our capital assessment to adequate from strong, due to equity adjusted for tax loss carryforwards and RAC forecast being at around 9%, and consequently Temirbank's SACP is now 'b-'.
-- We consider Temirbank to be a GRE with a moderate likelihood of extraordinary government support and we add one notch to the SACP for this factor, according to our methodology.
-- The outlook is stable, reflecting our expectation that Kazakhstan's government will continue to provide support to Temirbank as the bank cleans its loan book and diversifies its funding base.
On Sept. 26, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its 'B/B' long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings on Kazakhstan-based Temirbank JSC. The outlook is stable. At the same time, the Kazakhstan national scale rating was affirmed at 'kzBB'.
The affirmation of the ratings on Temirbank acknowledges the gradual recovery of Temirbank's financial profile, in line with our expectations.
Temirbank demonstrated improved core profitability with positive preprovision income as of year-end 2011 and in the first half of 2012. Therefore, we are removing our one-notch negative adjustment for poor earnings capacity. The increase in core earnings was mainly thanks to a restored net interest margin, which had increased to 2.9% as of midyear 2012 from 1.3% at year-end 2010, owing to new loans granted. We expect this positive trend to continue throughout the rest of 2012-2013, with a more active resumption of new lending. However, accrued interest income still exceeds the income actually paid because of the remaining high portion of problematic assets. Nonperforming loans (NPLs; overdue more than 90 days) amounted to 43.9% on June 30, 2012. Net profit benefits from net recovery in provisions, reflecting continuous write-backs on legacy assets, which balances new provisioning needs. Net profit also benefits from gains from Temirbank's repurchase of its own debt securities.
The bank's equity was adjusted for sizable tax loss carryforwards, which comprise a significant part of common shareholder's equity (around 20%). As a result, RAC before diversification at year-end 2011 amounted to 9.8%. We forecast it will be at about 9% within the next 12-24 months. This projection takes into account planned 10%-15% loan growth, positive retained earnings, and no dividend payouts. We have consequently revised our capital assessment downward to "adequate" (range of 7%-10%) from "strong" (above 10%).
The ratings on Temirbank reflect the bank's "moderate" business position, "adequate" capital and earnings, "weak" risk position, "average" funding, and "adequate" liquidity, as our criteria define these terms. The stand-alone credit profile (SACP) is now 'b-'.
We classify Temirbank as a government-related entity (GRE). In our opinion, there is a "moderate" likelihood that Kazakhstan's government would provide timely and extraordinary support to Temirbank in the event of financial distress. In accordance with our criteria for GREs, we based this opinion on:
-- The bank's "strong" link with the government through its 79.9% shareholder, Samruk-Kazyna (BBB+/Stable/A-2; Kazakhstan national scale 'kzAAA'). The bank is currently one of the government's largest investments in the financial sector.
-- Temirbank's "limited importance" to Kazakhstan's economy because the bank has a small market share and does not provide a public service or function that other domestic banks could not readily undertake.
Based on these factors, and according to our criteria, the long-term rating on Temirbank benefits from one notch of uplift above its 'b-' SACP.
The 'CCC+' rating on Temirbank's dated subordinated debt bank note program is two notches below the final issuer credit rating of 'B', in accordance with our criteria for nondeferrable capital instruments.
The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Kazakhstan's government will continue to provide support to Temirbank as the bank cleans its loan book and diversifies its funding base. Given the amount of problem loans the bank has, we expect NPLs to decline only gradually over the next 12 months.
If we perceived that the government's stance toward the bank is no longer consistent with a "moderately high" likelihood of support, we would remove the one notch of uplift that we currently factor into the ratings. We could also consider lowering the ratings if we observed further deterioration in asset quality in the next 12 months. This could happen if the quality of newly originated loans were weak, reflecting relaxed underwriting practices. At the same time, a potential merger with weaker Alliance Bank JSC (B-/Stable/C; Kazakhstan national scale 'kzBB-') could worsen the risk profile of the newly formed entity. However, we see this merger as a long-term process and don't currently factor its impact on our ratings and outlook on Temirbank.
We could raise the ratings if Temirbank demonstrated a significant and sustainable improvement in asset quality, with a material reduction in problematic assets, which would improve its risk position. An improvement in capitalization, with RAC above 10% caused by earnings growing faster than risk-weighted assets, could be positive for the ratings, as well.
Ratings Score Snapshot
Issuer Credit Rating B/Stable/B B/Stable/B
SACP b- b
Anchor bb- bb-
Business Position Moderate (-1) Moderate (-1)
Capital and Earnings Adequate(0) Strong (+1)
Risk Position Weak (-2) Weak (-2)
Funding Average (0) Average (0)
Liquidity Adequate (0) Adequate (0)
Support 1 1
GRE Support 1 1
Group Support 0 0
Sovereign Support 0 0
Additional Factors 0 -1
Related Criteria And Research
-- Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment: Kazakhstan, May 15, 2012
-- Banks: Rating Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011
-- Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 9, 2011
-- Bank Hybrid Capital Methodology And Assumptions, Nov. 1, 2011
-- Rating Government-Related Entities: Methodology And Assumptions, Dec. 9, 2010
-- Bank Capital Methodology And Assumptions, Dec. 6, 2010
Counterparty Credit Rating B/Stable/B
Kazakhstan National Scale kzBB
Certificate Of Deposit B/B
Senior Unsecured B
Senior Unsecured kzBB