Business & Economy - News - May 27, 2021

AfCFTA: AFREXIMBANK remains committed to promoting intra-African trade

Amid significant progress achieved in the implementation of its strategic initiatives in the first quarter of 2021, African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) says it remains committed to the continued promotion of intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
AfCFTA is an agreement reached by the 54 member countries of the African Union aimed at mobilizing their potentials towards promoting i intra-African among them.
Trading under the auspices of the agreement commenced on January 1, 2021.
Announcing the release of its unaudited financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2021, the Bank noted “strong and resilient growth performance, ahead of prior year results and in line with expectations.”
Details of the financial statements showed the Bank realized net income of about $87.3million, about 4% percent higher than the performance for the corresponding period in 2020 of $84.2 million.
The Bank the higher performance was achieved largely due to a 23% percent growth in net interest income.
Also, it said the increase in net interest income arose from a 41 percent growth in net loans and advances and a 11 percent decline in interest expense.  
Again, total assets, the Bank noted, grew year-on-year by 30 percent to $19.25billion as at March 31, 2021, primarily due to the implementation of the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA).
Most of the facilities, the Bank said, were disbursed in the second half of 2020 in the peak of the ravaging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Other performance indicators showed that total assets decreased marginally from the balance of $19.31billion as at December 31, 2020 primarily driven by slight decreases in loans and advances and cash and cash equivalents.
In addition, the Bank’s shareholders’ funds increased by 2.64 percent to $3.46billion from about $3.37billion recorded in December 2020, reflecting the support from existing investors and strong internal capital generation capacity.
President of the Bank, Benedict Oramah, said: “In the context of a global economy, which has improved since the last quarter of 2020 with the successful roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, we are pleased to have reported year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2021 and closed the period in a healthy financial position with strong capital levels.”
On the Bank’s interventions in tackling the pandemic, he said the Bank “proactively and aggressively supporting the fight against COVID-19 in Africa to accelerate the return to normalcy.
“We are supporting vaccine procurement by African economies with a $2 billion guarantee and financing facility.
“Through PATIMFA, AFREXIMBANK disbursed over $6.5 billion in support of African sovereigns, central and commercial banks, as well as corporations and SMEs. 
“Overall, we are confident that the Bank’s solid financial position, alongside the robust strategic measures put in place to proactively manage the effects of the pandemic, provide a strong foundation for a resilient and growing business going forward and are confident that Africa will see a strong economic rebound in 2021.”
 
 

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