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The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has declared a $57.53 million dividend for shareholders as it grew its revenues by 25 per cent to reach $645 million in its 2017 financial year.

The $57.53 million represented a 51 per cent increase over the $37.96 million declared in the previous year.

The President and Chairman, Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, who presented the 2017 financial report at the annual meetings in Abuja at the weekend, said its revenue grew by 25 per cent to reach $645 million, driven by healthy interest income on average assets of about $14 billion, of which about 70 per cent was loans and advances.

According to Oramah, net income rose by 34 per cent to reach a new record of $220 million.

He noted that the bank’s liquidity was very strong, with cash and due from banks reaching $3.2 billion, up 153 per cent from $1.3 billion in 2016, while liquidity cover ratio was 185 per cent, above the target of 105 per cent.

“Mindful that intra-African trade cannot flourish without a strong industrial base, we are pressing ahead with our effort to support the development of industrial parks and export processing zones across Africa,” stated the President.

“Projects amounting to about $1.5 billion were already financed or underdevelopment in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Gabon, Togo, Chad and Burkina Faso. We are also supporting the investment promotion efforts of Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone,” Oramah said.

He announced that the bank had recently entered into partnerships or understandings with numerous third parties to support and finance economic and trade development and trade diversification across Africa.

They include those with the African Guarantee Fund, Attijariwafa Bank, China Eximbank, the Export Development Bank of Egypt, the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa, the Finance Center for South-South Cooperation, Kings College Hospital London, and Indonesia Eximbank.

Others are the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the Made-in-Africa Initiative and the Russian Export Centre.

In his keynote address at the closing ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari pointed out that the bank, through its dynamism and tenacious leadership, had proved that Africans could come together to build something meaningful.

Those attributes, Buhari said, had enabled the Bank to achieve the success which it had enjoyed since its establishment 25 years ago..

The annual meetings began on July 11 with keynote addresses, presentations and panel discussions on topical trade and trade finance issues, including the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTFA).

Over 100 speakers, including heads of state, ministers, central bank governors, directors-general of international trade organisations, business leaders, African and global trade development experts, and academics, spoke during the four- days of the meetings.

The meeting also saw the election of Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, as the new Chairperson of the General Meeting of Afreximbank Shareholders.

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