Standard & Poor’s has upgraded Standard Chartered from single-A + to double-A -, making it the only major international bank to be upgraded by S&P, Fitch and Moody’s since the financial crisis.
S&P awarded the upgrade due to Standard Chartered’s strong liquidity and above average capital, as well as its strong business and risk position across the growing economies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Richard Meddings, group finance director at Standard Chartered says: “We’re operating in growth markets; we’ve got diversified income; a very robust balance sheet and strong management. S&P are the third of the major rating agencies to upgrade us since the crisis began while we have continued to deliver record results year in, year out.”
The upgrade is part of S&P’s reviewed ratings criteria, titled banking industry country risk assessments (BICRAs), which assesses 37 of the world’s largest financial institutions. According to the rating agency, the criteria are designed to provide greater transparency and global comparability of bank ratings.
Meanwhile, other institutions to receive upgrades are Chinese banks, Bank of China and China Construction Bank. However, with S&P downgrading a number of US banks, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, the assigned ratings are perhaps indicative of a more stable Asian market.