FNB Nam pile up profits

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 08:00
First National Bank Namibia increased its profit for the second half of last year by a whopping 20% and has declared an interim dividend of 55 cents for the year, up from 46 cents per ordinary share declared in 2012.
 For the six months ending December 2013, the bank’s profit is N$383 million (2012: N$320 million) thanks to contributions from both the retail and corporate sectors. 
CEO Ian Leyenaar is delighted and said that “the excellent results support our stra-tegy of building a sustained profitable asset base and committing ourselves to our brand values, particularly those of being helpful and driving innovation that enhances our clients’ financial services experience.  FNB’s electronic channels continue to show above-average growth, while our investment in tailoring solutions specifically for clients' business needs, ranging from SMEs to multinational companies, are producing positive results.” 
Total assets grew by almost 23%, or N$4,5 billion, to N$24,8 billion. The market for private credit expanded by 14,4% annualised, but FNB increased its advances by more than 20% to N$18,8 billion, due to successfully targeting the business segment. The group’s investment banking team generated almost N$1 billion worth of assets over the past 12 months.  
Demand for asset financing drove the bank’s vehicle financing wing, WesBank’s loan book to increase by 14% and home loans by 16% respectively. FNB remains the market leader in home loans and vehicle finance, according to Leyenaar.  This resulted in net interest income to increase by 12,5% to N$557 million (2012: N$495 million).  A spike in liquidity is demonstrated by the N$692 million increase in cash and cash equivalents, and balances due from banks, relate to short-term investments.
Increased volumes and an increase in the average value of transactions have contributed to the growth. About 70% of this was contributed by retail banking operations. “Our investment in expanding our electronic network and physical footprint continues to show good returns.  In the past year, FNB has upgraded its ATMs while adding another 25 machines to its network.  While continuously upgrading our excising branches, we opened two new branches as well.  Other self-service channels such as Cellphone Banking and  payment solutions such as FNB’s eWallet offer safe, affordable and convenient banking alternatives, and are growing exponentially,” adds Leyenaar. Market analysts rate FNB Namibia shares as one of the best investment opportunities on the Namibian Stock Exchange, according to the CEO.
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