The Agricultural Development Bank (Agribank) has declared a US$5,5 million dividend to Government after recording a 63 percent growth in profit to $13 million in the year to December 2018, breaking away from the common streak of state entities mired in perennial losses.
Chief executive Sam Malaba said the dividend makes Agribank one of the few parastatals that have given the shareholder a financial reward consistently over the past three years.
“During the annual general meeting held at Hurudza House, Harare on June 27,2019, Agribank declared a dividend to Government of US$5,5 million. The dividend declaration followed the adoption of the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018 by the shareholders,” he said.
The agricultural finance institution is owned 100 percent by the Government of Zimbabwe and is one among a few group of entities, including TelOne and National Oil Company of Zimbabwe, making profits and declaring dividends to the shareholder.
“The bank recorded a profit of US$13 million for the year 2018, representing a 63 percent growth compared to US$8 million recorded in 2017. The profit for the year was mainly driven by growth in non-interest income as well as interest income, against the background of marked loan book growth during the year,” he said.
Mr Malaba said the loan book growth also reflected expansion in the bank’s agricultural financing initiatives. Growth in non-interest income was mainly due from increased transactions from the ICT delivery channels and electronic banking (E-channels).
On a year-to-date basis, the bank recorded a year-to-date profit of $4,6 million and above budgeted profit of $3,7 million, representing a positive variance of 23 percent. Mr Malaba said the year-to-date cost to income ratio was 75 percent compared to a budget of 80 percent.
The Agribank CEO said the bank’s interest income at $10,2 million grew by 45 percent on a year-on-year basis driven largely increased business loans towards the agricultural sector and related value chains.
Total non-interest income at $14,5 million for the year-to-date (January to May) grew by 40 percent on a year-on-year basis due to more customer transactional volumes on the bank’s various delivery channels, leading to growth in commission fees income.
Total assets closed at $342,4 million as at May 31, 2019.
The Bank’s Tier 1 capital was $77,3 million under Basel I against regulatory minimum of $25 million and $67 796 731 using Basel II, which sets aside capital for market and operational risk.
Non-Performing loans to total loans ratio (NPL ratio) was 7,45 percent and below December 2018 industry average of 9,35 percent.
The bank is targeting tier $100 million capitalisation by January 2020, as necessary for the bank to offer the full range of banking and financial services, including bancassurance, mortgage business and lease financing, among others.
This will be achieved through both shareholder capital injection as well as organic growth, through profit retention.
Further capitalisation of the bank is envisaged through securing a strategic partner, and the process is currently in progress. The bank is negotiating contract terms with the Transaction Advisors, EY.