The post-pandemic period has been complex. The armed conflicts, added to countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies, translated into world inflation. This forced to raise interest rates throughout the world, including the Dominican Republic.
This situation makes us focus on the solvency levels of the Dominican financial system. The monitoring and rating of its financial capacity is under the scrutiny of three main risk rating firms: Fitch Ratings, Feller Rate and Pacific Credit Rating.
A risk rating in itself does not constitute a suggestion or recommendation to buy, sell or maintain a certain security or make a guarantee on its investment, issue or issue. However, for banks, obtaining a credit score is vital when it comes to boosting investor confidence and reducing the reputational risks of an increasingly competitive national and international environment.
Hence the concern: “how do risk rating agencies see this market?” For Cibeles Jiménez, a specialist in risk management and corporate governance, in general, risk rating agencies maintain positive perspectives for the Dominican financial sector.
“The sector exhibits a low risk profile due to its high levels of liquidity, controlled exposure to foreign exchange risk and delinquency of the portfolio below the average of the Central American systems,” Jiménez told the money.
In general, the scales that are applied are AAA, AA, A, BBB, B, C, D and E, where AAA is the best; C the impossibility of payment is warned; D is effective non-compliance, and E corresponds to the lack or non-compliance in the delivery of information for the rating.
Fortunately, according to data as of August 2022 from the Superintendency of Banks, among the entities analyzed, the ratings are mostly healthy, although some are not visible or simply do not have them, according to the data.
In this sense, commercial banks have the best rating, with Scotiabank (AAA), Banreservas (AA+), Popular (AA+) and BHD (AA-), leading the best scores.
Regarding the signs that are added to the group of vowels, experts in the area explain that, for example, between AA and B, signs (+) or (-) are used to distinguish positions related to risk or stability within the same qualification.
For example, Banesco and the National Savings and Loans Association (ALNAP) appear with A+, respectively. The A with a positive sign is slightly better than A and this, in turn, more than A-. The latter is the case of Confisa, BACC, Lafise, BDI, Banco Caribe and Promerica, and mutual insurance companies Alaver and Abonap.
For short-term securities, risk rating agencies use the following scales: N-1, N-2, N-3, N-4, N-5, where N-1 is the best, N-4 warns of the impossibility of payment and N-5 missing information.
All categories are prefixed with py, to distinguish that it is a national scale rating.
Based on their analyzes and projections, risk rating agencies use a probable rating trend, which can be Positive (it is estimated that it could go up), Stable (it is expected to remain the same) and Sensitive (there are factors that could influence a downgrade). of the qualification in future evaluations).
The Dominican financial sector also has entities with low ratings, although not in critical conditions, including the banks López de Haro (BBB), Vimenca (BBB+), Bellbank (BB+), Banco Unión (BBB+), Fihogar (BBB- ), Atlántico (BB), Duarte (BB+) and Romana (BBB+), indicate the figures from the Superintendency of Banks.
For Raúl Hernández, in charge of macroeconomics and investments at CIEF Consulting, the risk rating is a summary measure of credit quality. In other words, the entity’s ability to pay, in a timely manner, the commitments it assumes.
Its importance lies in the fact that any public offering issuance in the country requires qualification. “Many buyers and investors are guided by the risk rating to buy or not a title,” said Hernández, specifying that although it is not mandatory, the market is demanding it.