Fitch Ratings raised the future outlook of six Saudi banks to stable from negative.
It also affirmed the long-term credit rating in local and foreign currencies at BBB+.
The six banks are the Arab National Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Alinma Bank, The Saudi Investment Bank, Al Jazira Bank, and Gulf International Bank in Saudi Arabia.
Fitch’s assessment takes into account the Saudi government’s ability to support the banking system given the country’s large foreign reserves.
It also reflects a long record of support for Saudi banks, regardless of their size, financing structure, and level of government ownership.
This comes after Fitch raised the Kingdom’s future outlook to stable from negative on July 15 due to the rise in oil prices.
Main classification engines
Fitch indicated that the rating engine for the six banks is the sovereign support, which leads the rating at the credit score of BBB +, which is applied to all Saudi banks.
Fitch said this reflects our view of a high probability of support for all lenders in the country from the Saudi authorities, if necessary.
Fitch expects the Saudi Central Bank’s reserves to increase to $470 billion in 2022-2023
The Kingdom has one of the greatest reserve coverage ratios among governments rated by Fitch in more than 20 months of current foreign payments, according to Fitch.