RATING Agency Malaysia Bhd (RAM) has upgraded Malaysian International Merchant Bankers' (MIMB) long- and short-term general bank ratings to A3 and P1 respectively from BBB1 and P2 with effect from January.
MIMB, the merchant banking arm of the EON Bank group, earned the ratings upgrade as a result of the improvements reflected in its credit risk profile after transferring its entire loans portfolio to EON Bank.
EON Bank group deputy chief executive officer (group treasury and investment banking) Gopala Krishnan said the bank had focused on strategic measures towards becoming a more competitive provider of corporate advisory and consultancy services and seized the increasing opportunities for fund raising exercises via both the equity and debt capital markets.
In addition, we have aligned ourselves to be more product- and client-focused, banking on our strength of having an efficient organisational set-up which allows us to offer more personalised services in an innovative and expedient manner, he said in a statement.
Last year, he said, MIMB participated in six private debt securities (PDS) worth RM1.82bil, plus RM823mil in mergers and acquisitions. It also completed a total of RM1.212bil in debt restructuring during the year.
According to RAM, MIMB is ranked third among local merchant banks in the disbursement of PDS.
Gopala said the merchant MIMBs results were encouraging considering the fact that it had been in the debt market for only more than a year.
He said MIMB had turned in a sterling performance, registering a pre-tax profit of RM43.7mil for the year ended Dec 31, 2002, compared with a loss of RM115.7mil in 2001.
MIMBs fee and commission income grew by 141% to RM18.1mil in 2002 from RM7.5mil in 2001.
Gopala said the merchant bank would forge strategic alliances to further expand its corporate and advisory services in the domestic debt and capital markets.
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