The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) achieved a record 25 per cent rise in its net income from 2014 to 2015, taking in $134 million in 2015 compared to $107 million in 2014, Bank President Dr. Benedict Oramah has announced in Mahe, Seychelles.
In his report to the 23rd Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) of the Bank today, Dr. Oramah said that the stellar performance by the Bank could be attributed to a solid loans growth, which saw a 40 per cent rise from December 2014 to reach a total of $6.1 billion in December 2015.
He told the shareholders that Afreximbank’s assets and sources of income had been well diversified and that they key financial ratios were in line with plans.
Dr. Oramah gave other key 2015 performance figures to include: return on equity and net interest margin at 11.5 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively, largely on account of larger proportion of lower-priced cash-collateralised loans; improvement in asset quality with non-performing loans ratio down to 2.8 per cent from 3.8 per cent in 2014; operational efficiency at historical levels with cost to income ratio averaging 21 per cent; and liquidity coverage ratio that was above the Basle minimum of 100 per cent, and, in fact, averaged more than 200 per cent.
“On the strength of improved capitalisation and financial performance, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings revised the Bank’s ratings outlook from negative to stable in 2015,” continued the President, who added that, during the year, the Bank made what was perhaps the largest syndicated loan issue by an African commercial bank, raising in excess of $1 billion.
He said that the Bank had succeeded in markedly diversifying the sources of its liability by deepening relationship with African central banks, such that African sources now account for more than 40 percent of its total non-equity liabilities.
Dr. Oramah announced that through the Countercyclical Trade Liquidity Facility, approved by the Board of Directors in December 2015 to assist member countries adjust in an orderly manner to the commodity price and terrorism-induced shocks threatening to cause economic dislocation, the Bank had disbursed $6.2 billion as at June 2016, with another $3 billion of requests in the pipeline.
Afreximbank was living its vision of being the trade finance bank for Africa, the President argued, citing estimates that its financings in the past few months accounted for close to 30 per cent of the trade finance flows to its member countries.
Earlier, Danny Faure, Vice President of Seychelles, said that Afreximbank had emerged as one of the main instruments of structural transformation in Africa.
“It has already proven its role as a catalyst for enhancing growth and for improving wealth creation across our continent,” said Vice President Faure, who went on to describe the Bank as a leader in innovation and in exploring new frontiers.
“For too long we have been beholden to a model of economic growth that has attempted to divorce economic sustainability from environmental sustainability. At this AGM, let us celebrate the conviction that investments in sustainable finance are also investments in a sustainable economy situated within a sustainable environment,” he said. “Through Afreximbank, we can create the tools that will empower local ownership of these sustainable growth models, and also generate future opportunities for re-investment.”
Also speaking, Dr. Denny Kalyalya, Governor of the Bank of Zambia and Chairman of the General Meeting, urged African countries that had not yet joined the Bank to do so in order to become part of the community of African nations that were keen to see the development of trade on the continent for the benefit of the people.
Dr. Kalyalya welcomed the resounding success achieved in the equity raising programme that sought to bring additional $500 million of capital into the Bank by the end of the 2016 in order to ensure that capital was not a constraint its growth and its capacity to underwrite business in response to the continent’s needs.
In the subsequent deliberations, Jean-Paul Adams, Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, of Seychelles, was elected Chairman of the General Meeting and an offer by Rwanda to host the next Afreximbank AGM was approved.
Activities marking the 23rd Afreximbank AGM, which was organised in collaboration with the Central Bank of Seychelles, began on 20 July with two days of seminars and a one-day meeting of the Bank’s Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa. On 21 July, a trade exhibition and an investment forum, focused on investment opportunities in Seychelles, was held.