Last month, ABA Bank became the first bank in Cambodia to be rated by the Hong Kong arm of China’s Dagong Global Credit Rating Agency. Zhiger Atchabarov, chief international operations officer at ABA Bank, spoke to Post Supplement about the significance of the rating.
ABA Bank has already received a rating from Standard & Poor’s. How important is the ‘B+’ credit rating handed down from Dagong?
Indeed, this is very significant and important for us. It is not only making ABA the first bank rated by Dagong, but also the first and only Cambodian bank rated ‘B+’, which is one notch above the Cambodian sovereign rating. It is worth noting here that ABA’s standalone rating is ‘B’, and it was upgraded to ‘B+’ because of comprehensive support and strong commitment from our major shareholder – National Bank of Canada.
What underpinned ABA Bank’s decision to assign Dagong to assess the company?
Since ABA is operating in Asia, it was logical to obtain rating from an Asian rating agency. Dagong is the first and only global rating agency with Asian/Chinese origin. In addition to China, it is also licensed by authorities in Hong Kong and EU. Of course, we have been comparing different agencies, but finally selected Dagong and were not disappointed – their team of analysts who visited ABA during the due diligence process was very professional, experienced and demonstrated high awareness and understanding of Asian markets, Cambodian operating environment and banking practice in general.
What advantages does a rating from Dagong provide for ABA Bank?
First of all, the rating we received from Dagong is a huge advantage itself. ABA Bank is closely cooperating with different banks and financial institutions all over the world. This cooperation includes correspondent banking, trade finance, money transfers, borrowings and other transactions on international markets. Needless to say that the more credible a bank is, the more favorable conditions it gets on all these transactions. As result, we may offer better conditions to our customers, who are always our top priority. '
For the due diligence from Dagong, which we have successfully passed, I could say that this is a clear evidence of transparency and efficiency of our business processes and corporate governance. Thus, the credit rating from Dagong may act as an indicator of our strong position, high creditworthiness and confidence in our strategy, and we hope it will bring more confidence to our partners and customers as well.