Company Announcements

Statement re Rating Actions

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 5659I
Standard Bank Group Limited
02 April 2020

Standard Bank Group Limited

The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited


02 April 2020


Ratings Announcement


Amendment to Standard Bank Group ("SBG") and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited ("SBSA") credit ratings by Fitch Ratings ("Fitch") and Moody's Ratings Agency ("Moody's")

Noteholders are hereby advised of the amendment by Fitch and Moody's to SBG's and SBSA's credit ratings effective on 31 March 2020.



·      Fitch has downgraded the Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) and Viability Ratings (VRs) of SBSA to 'BB' and 'bb', respectively. The Outlook on the IDRs is Negative.

·      Fitch has taken similar rating actions on the Long-Term IDRs and VRs of SBG.

·    National Long-Term Ratings and debt ratings (where applicable) have also been downgraded from AA (zaf) to AA-(zaf).

·     The Outlook on the National Long-Term Ratings is revised to Negative from Stable.

·      Fitch has increased the notching for Tier 2 issues of SBG to two notches from one from the respective VR and National Rating anchor ratings.

·    Fitch has also widened the notching between the IDR and the long-term debt rating assigned to SBG's and SBSA's USD4 billion EMTN Programme to one from zero to reflect (under the new criteria) below-average recovery prospects because of thin Qualifying Junior Debt buffers.


The rating action by Fitch is driven by the expected negative impact from the coronavirus outbreak on the bank's operating environment and key financial metrics, notwithstanding uncertainty as to the full economic and financial market implications.


For commentary on the detailed ratings action taken on SBG and SBSA, together with the other South African Banks, please refer to the Fitch press release on the below website:



·   SBSA's long-term foreign-currency and local-currency issuer ratings to Ba1 from Baa3. The outlook remains negative.

·      SBG's long-term foreign-currency and local-currency issuer ratings to Ba2 from Ba1. The outlook remains negative.


The primary driver for Moody's rating actions is the increasingly difficult operating environment for banks in South Africa as reflected by the agency's decision to lower South Africa's Macro Profile score from 'Moderate' to 'Moderate-' in addition to the weakening credit profile of the South African government given banks' high sovereign exposure, mainly in the form of government debt securities held as part of their prudential liquidity requirements, which links their credit profiles to that of the government.


A detailed commentary on the ratings action taken on SBG and SBSA, together with the other South African Banks may be accesses on the below website:


For further information, please contact:


Ann Hunter

Standard Bank Group Limited
9th Floor
5 Simmonds Street, Johannesburg PO Box 2001
South Africa
Telephone number: +27 11 415 4194



This Announcement is not intended to, and shall not, constitute or contain an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to purchase the securities referred to herein by any person in any jurisdiction where it is unlawful to make an offer or solicitation. The distribution of the Announcement and the offer or sale of the securities referred to herein in certain jurisdictions is restricted by law. This Announcement may not be used for or in connection with, and does not constitute, any offer to, or solicitation by, anyone in any jurisdiction or under any circumstance in which such offer or solicitation is not authorised or is unlawful.


In the United Kingdom, this Announcement is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, persons who are (i) investment professionals, as such term is defined in Article 19(5) of the U.K. Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended, the Financial Promotion Order); (ii) persons falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) ("high net worth companies, unincorporated associations, etc.") of the Financial Promotion Order; (iii) outside the United Kingdom; or (iv) persons to whom an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity (within the meaning of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000) in connection with the issue or sale of any Notes may otherwise lawfully be communicated or caused to be communicated.


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