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Best Bank - Jamaica

Nov 1, 2010

Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has passed the test of a weak local economy and a sovereign debt restructuring relatively unscathed, as profitability and liquidity remain at acceptable levels.

"NCB’s ratings reflect its strong domestic franchise, adequate profitability, good asset quality and capital levels," says Fitch analyst Franklin Santarelli. He adds that profitability at NCB is slightly better compared to peers in the same rating category. The bank was upgraded in February to B- (stable) from CCC following a sovereign promotion to the same level following its debt restructuring.

Relative stability in the bank’s financial indicators comes despite a contracting economy that is highly dependent on external flows related to tourism and remittances. In 2009 Jamaica’s GDP contracted by 3.5% and is expected to rebound by just 0.5% this...

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