The Financial Express

PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia outlook revised

| Updated: November 21, 2017 12:42:41

PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia outlook revised

SINGAPORE (S&P Global Ratings) Nov. 17, 2017--S&P Global Ratings today revised

its outlook on PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Persero) Tbk. (BRI) to positive from

stable. At the same time, we affirmed our 'BB+' long-term and 'B' short-term

issuer credit ratings on the Indonesian bank.

"We also affirmed our 'BB+' issue rating on the bank's senior unsecured notes.

We revised the outlook because we expect BRI's asset quality to remain better

than industry average over the next 12-18 months. We expect BRI's credit costs

to gradually decline over the next few quarters as the bank has built

sufficient buffers against stressed loans (nonperforming loans [NPLs] and

performing restructured loans)," a statement of S & P said.

As of Sept. 30, 2017, BRI has a coverage ratio of about 200 per cent against NPLs.


BRI's performance has been superior to its peers' in the current cyclical

downturn in Indonesia. The bank's NPL ratio of 2.2% as of Sept. 30, 2017, was

lower than the industry average of 3.0%. The bank's NPLs have consistently

been below the industry average over the past six years. BRI's stressed loans

at about 7% of gross loans as of Sept. 30, 2017, were also lower than about 9%

for both PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk. and PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero)

Tbk. (BNI).


BRI's sizable exposure to micro loans at 34.5% of the loan portfolio underpins

its above-average asset quality, in our view. The bank's micro loans portfolio

is quite granular with low average ticket size and has good geographical

spread. This mitigates the risk of a sharp rise in delinquency. BRI's strong

understanding of the micro markets, extensive reach in rural areas, and

rigorous monitoring and collection mechanisms have helped it maintain low NPLs

in this segment despite the low incomes of this borrower profile. Micro loans

disbursed under the government's schemes (KUR) are insured for at least 70% of

credit losses, benefiting credit costs. Those not under the government's

scheme, are secured by collateral. Moreover, about 30% of micro loans are to

fixed income earners.


The Indonesian banking system's NPLs have been rising since 2014 due to weak

commodity prices and a sluggish domestic economy. Small and midsize

enterprises (SMEs) were the most affected as they typically have a single

revenue stream, which makes them vulnerable to cyclical downturns.

Although the stressed loans in BRI's SME portfolio (24% of total loans) increased, the

bank's NPLs in this segment appear to have peaked and declined in the second

and third quarters of 2017.

"We believe management's efforts to control slippages in the SME segment and tighten underwriting practices will enable BRI to sustain its above-average asset quality," the statement added.


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