Fitch Ratings endorses MB with upgrade

December 15, 2023 | 18:08
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Fitch Ratings has elevated the Military Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (MB)'s Long-term Issuer Default Rating from 'BB-' to 'BB', marking a notable uplift in the global perception of Vietnam's banking sector.
Fitch Ratings endorses MB with upgrade

The move is part of a broader ratings upgrade for eight Vietnamese banks, reflecting the strengthened support of the Vietnamese government for its banking system and the more stable outlook in general.

The upswing includes Vietcombank, VietinBank, Agribank, ACB, HSBC Vietnam, ANZ Vietnam, and Standard Chartered Vietnam, and follows Fitch's recent decision to raise Vietnam's national credit rating from 'BB' to 'BB+' on December 8.

Fitch Ratings has also upgraded its Government Support Rating to 'bb' from 'bb-', seen as a vote of confidence in the government's ability to bolster the banking sector.

“The upgrade reflects our view of the sovereign's improving ability to support the bank, as reflected in the recent upgrade of Vietnam's rating to 'BB+' from 'BB',” Fitch commented. “At the same time, we have also affirmed the bank's Viability Rating at 'b+'.”

A representative from MB stated, "This upgrade is a significant acknowledgement of MB's long-standing commitment to sustainable practices in Vietnam's financial market. It particularly underscores the success of our recent digital transformation initiatives, which have been central to our business strategy and growth."

The bank's strategic focus on digitalisation has yielded significant customer growth, with its base expanding to 26.5 million, an eightfold increase since 2017. Digital transactions have become increasingly predominant at MB, with 1.6 billion transactions, or 96 per cent of the total, conducted through digital channels as of November.

In the third quarter of 2023 alone, MB's revenue from digital channels spiked by 1.3 times on-year, accounting for almost 22 per cent of its total revenue. Furthermore, MB's mobile application, with over 10 million active accounts, stands out in Vietnam's banking sector.

The collective upgrade of Vietnamese banks, spearheaded by MB's rating improvement, underscores the growing resilience and stability of Vietnam's financial sector according to the global financial community.

Fitch Ratings, headquartered in New York and London, is a prominent player in global credit rating, acknowledged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and its ratings have been a barometer for the financial health of nations and corporations worldwide for more than a century.

MB eyes 30 million customers by 2024 following strong Q3 earnings MB eyes 30 million customers by 2024 following strong Q3 earnings

Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB) has just unveiled a robust performance for Q3 2023, maintaining a positive growth trajectory. The bank's focus on operational cost management and a push towards digital transformation places it at the forefront of Vietnam's banking sector's digitalisation race.

By Tri Lam

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