Belize City, Belize – January 8, 2023 – On December 14, 2023, CariCRIS, credit rating agency, announced the upgrading of corporate credit ratings for The Belize Bank Limited (BBL) by 2 notches, affirming its position as a key player in the Belizean commercial banking industry.
The ratings are as follows:
– CariBBB- (Regional Scale Foreign Currency)
– CariBBB- (Regional Scale Local Currency)
– bzAA+ (National Scale Local Currency)
A copy of the CariCRIS Press Release can be viewed HERE.
According to CariCRIS, these ratings signify a commendable level of creditworthiness for BBL when compared to both regional and national peers. The upgrade on the regional scale is attributed to macroeconomic factors related to GDP growth, mainly the enhanced credit risk profile of the sovereign, with a notable reduction in general government debt to 59.3% of GDP in 2023 from 101.4% in 2020. The real GDP has surpassed pre-COVID levels, showing sustained growth after the 13.4% contraction in 2020. Anticipated growth of approximately 2.5% over the medium term is expected to further fortify BBL’s position.
CariCRIS also announced a stable outlook, indicating confidence that BBL will sustain strong financial performance, will remain well capitalized and keep strong asset quality. This expectation is underpinned by the implementation of ongoing digital initiatives within the next 12 to 15 months. Furthermore, structural reforms in Belize and the recovery of tourism activity are anticipated to contribute to the economic improvement in the country, supporting the stability of BBL’s credit risk profile.
The Chairman of The Belize Bank Limited, Filippo Alario, expressed satisfaction with the ratings, highlighting the institution’s robust presence in the Belizean commercial banking sector: “This upgrade in credit ratings is a resounding endorsement of the Bank’s strategic plan showcasing our focus on innovation, financial inclusion and financial wellness of our customers. Despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions, I’m impressed by the resilience and dedication of our teams in achieving our business goals and supporting our clients with strength and confidence. We remain excited about the future as we continue purposefully on our mission.”
He further emphasized the bank’s extensive distribution network, solid risk management framework, and ongoing digital initiatives as key factors supporting the positive assessment.
The upgraded ratings reflect the continued success of The Belize Bank Limited in navigating both regional and national economic landscapes, showcasing its resilience and strategic positioning within the industry.