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HomeNewsTunisia: Fitch affirms national ratings of 7 Tunisian NBFIs

Tunisia: Fitch affirms national ratings of 7 Tunisian NBFIs

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the National Ratings of seven Tunisian leasing companies, and upgraded the National Long-Term (LT) Rating of Union de Factoring (Unifactor; UF) to ‘BBB-(tun)’ from ‘BB+(tun)’.

They are: BTK Leasing, ATL, Attijari Leasing (AL), CIL, Hannibal Lease SA (Hannibal), BH Leasing (BHL) and Tunisie Leasing et Factoring (TLF).

The ratings agency stressed that the Tunisian NBFIs are small by international standards, with equity bases ranging from the equivalent of about USD58 million (TLF) to USD13 million (UF), and they operate in high risk sectors.

“Heightened sovereign risks pose significant operating environment challenges to Tunisian NBFIs. Asset-quality metrics deteriorated further in 1H22, with the average impaired and non-performing loans (NPL) ratio increasing to 12.8% (end-2021: 11.6%),” said Fitch.

It added that the ratio was inflated by a low sector growth of 1.4% in 1H22, which was constrained by the difficult operating environment.

The ratings agency believed NBFI funding access “remains fragile as any slowdown in banking system deposit growth, coupled with increased funding demand from the state, could trigger renewed liquidity pressures.”

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