Jun 152013

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has been grouped among countries whose banking systems have higher risk factors. The country is among Group 7 nations, with Group 1 as those with lowest risk levels while Group 10 has the highest risk levels.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Ratings Services’ recently released its Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA), which assessed 86 banking systems worldwide.

“We also present economic and industry risk trends that we are introducing this year for those banking systems,” S&P said.

The Philippine banking system’s credit risk to its economy was ranked “very high” by the rating agency. Among the countries with “low risks” are Switzerland and Germany, while nations with “extremely high risk” include Belarus, Jamaica, Greece, Egypt, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Philippines is lumped with Latvia, Uruguay, Bulgaria, Iceland, Jordan, Morocco, Portugal, Indonesia, Ireland, Russia and El Salvador in Group 7. These countries banking systems have strong or high-risk impact on their respective economies.

BICRA is scored on a scale of 1 to 10, ranging from what S&P’s view as the lowest-risk banking systems (Group 1) to the highest-risk (Group 10). The BICRA methodology has two main analytical components: economic risk and industry risk.

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The rating agency’s industry risk ranking of the Philippine banking system is a 6 with the highest industry risk level at 10 (Belarus). Some of the 1 ranking, or the lowest risk level, are Hong Kong, Canada, Germany, France and Singapore.

The country’s banking system received a “very high” for economic resilience or roughly in the middle of the 86 nations in the study. Examples of the “low resilience” rating nations are Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada and Austria, while that of Jamaica, Egypt, Paraguay, Cambodia are “extremely high.”

It was likewise ranked “low” in the economic imbalances category, while Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and Belgium are examples of “very low” countries.

Belarus, Greece, Ukraine, Cambodia and Paraguay ranked “very high” in the economic imbalances category.

A BICRA analysis for a country covers all of its financial institutions that take deposits, extend credit, or engage in both activities.

In addition, the analysis considers the relationship of the banking industry to the financial system, and furthermore to its sovereign. For that reason, many of the factors underlying a sovereign rating are important in determining a BICRA score.

“Our analysis of economic risk of a banking sector takes into account the structure and stability of the country’s economy, including the central government’s macroeconomic policy flexibility; actual or potential economic imbalances; and the credit risk of economic participants – mainly households and enterprises,” the report said.

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