The Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS) has assigned NCB Capital Markets Limited a local jmA+ rating up, for a debt issue of $16 billion, with a positive outlook.This, the wealth and asset management arm of National Commercial Bank, said in a news release yesterday, indicates good creditworthiness.


“The current rating indicates that NCB Capital Markets is a strong business institution in Jamaica and an emerging player in the Caribbean,” the company explained.


“This announcement, made yesterday by the regional rating agency, follows NCB Group's recent achievement of record second quarter profit of $5.8 billion. NCB Capital Markets, along with its subsidiaries and sister company in Cayman, contributed 23.0 per cent of the overall operating income; making it the second-highest contributor to the group's earnings,” the company said.


“Additionally, the segment's operating income for the financial period ended March 31 showed a 67.2 per cent increase over the same period in the previous financial year. This is complemented by closed corporate financing transactions that exceeded $25 billion in the first six months of the current financial year.”


A CariCRIS credit rating gives an objective assessment of an entity's creditworthiness relative to that of other debt-issuing entities. It provides ratings for both the regional and national level. NCB Capital Markets also received a CariBBB- (Foreign Currency) rating on the regional scale.


According to CariCRIS, the assigned jmA+ rating is influenced by its expectation for further macroeconomic improvement in Jamaica over the next 12 to 15 months. That is in addition to its projection for further revenue and profit growth based on the company's ongoing expansion efforts in the wider Caribbean.


Steven Gooden, CEO, NCB Capital Markets, said the rating comes at an integral time when the NCB Group is accelerating its expansion exercises throughout the Caribbean.


NCB Capital Markets, he noted, has a market presence in Cayman, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados.


“We are very pleased with the rating and that we are able to provide clients across the region with customised portfolio and funding solutions to meet their various needs,” the release quotes Gooden. “CariCRIS is a respected regional rating agency and this validation will serve us well, even as we continue our strategy of regional expansion.”



CariCRIS explained that the NCB Capital Markets rating reflects the subsidiary's position as a grounded business in Jamaica that is also emerging as a strong player in the Caribbean. It is further attributable to the NCB Group's continuously improving financial performance, good asset quality, and a characteristic ability to service debt.

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