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Despite the undulating global business terrain, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has posted a gross revenue of $343 million as contained in its unaudited financial statements for the half-year period ended 30 June 2018, that was released, on Friday, in Cairo.

The figure represents a $21 million increase over the gross revenue for the same period in 2017.

The results attributed the higher gross revenue to a significant increase in fee income by 119 per cent while interest and similar income recorded a 2 per cent growth compared to prior year performance.

The Bank’s attributable earnings over the six months also amounted to $110 million, beating the budget by 34 per cent.

The key profitability ratios equally came in well above budget, with the return on the Bank’s average shareholders’ equity (ROAE) standing at 10 per cent, compared to the budget: of 8.08 per cent, and the return on the average assets (ROAA) at 1.88 per cent as against the budget of 1.57 per cent.

Other key figures from the results include: Interest and similar income that stood at $314.81 million; Net interest margin – 3.17%; Net fee and commission income – $23 million; Operating expenses – $23.04 million; Allowance and impairment on loans and advances – $31.95 million; Total assets – $11.52 billion; Total liabilities – $ 9.21 billion and Shareholders’ funds – $2.31 billion.

In another development, Afrexim Bank has called for the quick passage of a law on factoring in Nigeria is a crucial step in facilitating the ease of doing business and procuring the trust of investors in the country.

Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of the Intra-African Trade Initiative at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), highlighted the importance of factoring in unlocking the economic potential of SMEs, noting that it could play a key role by supporting the SMEs; promoting open accounts, which is beneficial to SMEs in enhancing their competitiveness, and providing an alternative source of trade access to finance.

She said that Afreximbank was committed to supporting the appropriate legal and regulatory environment as a key strategic initiative for the promotion and development of factoring, noting that, under its strategy, the Bank was required to work on improving the legal environment in order to bring about harmonised standards and transparency within the factoring industry in Africa, and providing for legal enforcement arrangements.

Speaking during the Public Hearing on the Factoring Bill, Jones Onyereri, Chairman of the House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee, said that the introduction of factoring in the financial sector would serve as complementary financing to conventional financing and will largely target micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“This will facilitate the provision of cash flows to MSMES, especially those that have quality receivables and may not be in the position to obtain adequate conventional bank finance due to high interest rate, collateral or credit profile constraints,” continued Mr. Onyereri.

The public hearing, which was organised in collaboration with Afreximbank, also attracted the participation of representatives of the House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee, NEXIM, FCI, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Debt Management Office, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial System Strategy 2020, and several other stakeholders.

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