GCR Affirms NOVA Merchant Bank’s BBB Issuer Ratings, Stable Outlook

Global Credit Rating has affirmed NOVA Merchant Bank Limited’s national scale long and short-term ratings of BBB(NG) and A3(NG) respectively, with a Stable Outlook, in what it said is based on its strong capital base and financial position.

The ratings of NOVA Merchant Bank Limited, GCR said reflect the bank’s sound capitalisation and good risk position, as characterised by minimal non-performing loans (NPL) and credit losses.

Citing the rationale for the ratings, GCR said NOVA Merchant Bank “continues to drive the evolution of its market position through the launch of bespoke customer-centric products/solutions and innovations to improve value propositions and meet the specific needs of its clients.

“The bank’s capitalisation is considered sound, with capital adequacy ratio maintained above regulatory threshold of 10%” as at December 2021, reinforcing the headroom for risk asset growth and overall balance sheet capacity,” the report noted.

NOVA Merchant Bank maintains stable funding and adequate liquidity. According to GCR, NOVA MB’s funding structure is predominantly made up of deposits. At the end of the financial year ended December 31, 2021, total deposits accounted for 95% of the funding base, compared to 93.1% in the corresponding period of 2020, with customer deposits increasing by 30.4% during the year, on the back of improved deposits mobilisation capacity.

Commenting on the rating, Nath Ude, NOVA’s Managing Director/CEO, described “GCR’s affirmations of NOVA’s investment grade ratings and stable outlook, are instructive. The rating rationale succinctly reflects the sound governance, robust risk management and unrivalled record of asset quality. More importantly, the ratings construct underscores the strong credibility of the Bank, as highlighted by the adequate liquidity and stable funding metrics.

“With continuous investment in people and technology, and more importantly innovative partnerships with credible clients, NOVA is primed to positively disrupt the merchant banking space, with the vision to unlock opportunities for our clients across the key growth sectors of the Nigerian economy,” Ude said.

The Chairman of the Bank, Phillips Oduoza, noted that given the challenging macroeconomic environment, the ratings demonstrate the efficiency of the governance structures put in place to ensure long term sustainability of the Bank.

NOVA Merchant Bank offers an integrated suite of financial solutions covering Financial Intermediation, Wholesale Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Wealth Management, Trade Services, Transaction Banking, Cash Management and Digital Banking.

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