KUALA LUMPUR: Banks in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines have the best asset quality with non-performing loans (NPLs) below 2% despite the challenging economic and credit conditions stemming from the Covid-19.
Moody's Investors Service says in a new report on Monday the pandemic would weigh on Asean and Indian banks' asset quality and profitability.
It also pointed out that overall, despite banks facing higher problem loans and lower profitability, most were adequately capitalised to withstand the higher credit risk.
Nonetheless, Moody's expects asset quality and profitability will deteriorate from good levels in 2019 across most banking systems.
Eugene Tarzimanov, a Moody's vice president and senior credit officer said in Asean and India, bank downgrades in 2020 have been driven by Indian banks, following the downgrade of the sovereign in June.
“That said, the majority of the banks in the region are well-positioned at their ratings, despite a higher share of negative outlooks on bank ratings," he pointed out.
And while government support measures will offset some of the pressure on banks, they will not fully eliminate the negative impact.
Despite the challenging outlook, the majority of banks are adequately capitalised and Moody's expects their funding and liquidity will remain sound and stable in 2020-21.
“For instance, regulators in India, Thailand and Vietnam have restricted bank dividends, a credit positive for banks, while the largest banks will continue to benefit from deposit inflows as they are seen as safe-heavens in times of stress.
“Moody's expects the GDP of most Asean economies and India will contract in 2020 and gradually recover in 2021. The relaxation of lockdowns and resumption of economic activity will be key factors supporting the recovery, ” it said.
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