Fitch Affirms African Development Bank Group’s 'AAA'/'F1+' Rating

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Tunis, 10 September 2008 -- Fitch Ratings has affirmed the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s ratings at Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'AAA' with a Stable Outlook and Short-term IDR 'F1+'.

The ratings are primarily based on the support from the Bank's member countries, its high level of capitalisation and conservative risk management policies, which largely offset its substantial credit risk exposure.

Fitch announced the ratings on 5 September in London and Paris, saying that like other multilateral development banks, the AfDB benefits from strong support from member countries.

Fitch considers the Bank's prudential framework to be suitable at the current stage of its lending shift. "AfDB's policies regarding risk management, gearing and liquidity are conservative and capitalisation is very strong," the agency said,  adding that at end-2007, its Ratings' ratio of usable capital to required capital was 16.6x (2006: 18.3x), a level which compares very favourably with those of similar banks over the period.

The AfDB Group enjoys the highest credit ratings from other major global rating agencies -- Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Japan Credit Rating Agency.

The AfDB is a multilateral development finance institution established in 1964 to finance projects and programmes in its (African) Regional Member Countries. It raises such funds on the financial market at highly favourable conditions - thanks to its 'AAA' rating - and provides financing to African states and, increasingly, to private institutions at the lowest possible cost.

The Bank is headquartered in Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire).  However, the Board of Governors in 2003 approved the temporary relocation of its operations to Tunis, Tunisia, due to political instability in the host country.

The Bank Group, owned by 53 African (Regional Member Countries) and 24 non-African (non-Regional Member Countries) had a subscribed capital of UA 21.69 Billion (US$ 34 billion) at the end of 2007). Since it began operations in 1967, the Bank Group has approved 3,174 loans and grants totaling UA 41.58 billion (US$ 65.70 billion). It had 1,142 staff at end-2007.

Turkey’s application to become the 25th Non-Regional Member of the Bank Group is being processed following its approval by the Board of Governors in May 2007.

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Felix Njoku Phone: +216 71 10 26 12