The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) recently unveiled its consolidated financial statements encompassing the Bank and its subsidiaries' performance for the first quarter of 2024, concluding on Sunday, 31 March 2024.

Despite prevailing challenging geopolitical and macro-economic landscapes, the group showcased remarkable resilience, evidenced by sustained year-on-year growth and a notable uptick in shareholder value.

Net Interest Income for Q1 2024 grew by 31.73% to $393.4m, compared to $298.6m for the prior year’s comparative period (Q1 2023). The increase was largely driven by a 40.07% increase in interest income to $721.8m, on the back of the growth in the Bank’s portfolio of loans and advances.

Net interest margin improved to 4.82% compared to 4.40% in the corresponding period due to a combination of higher benchmark rates and effective management of borrowing costs.

The group demonstrated an improvement in operating efficiency with a lower cost to income ratio of 14.50% in Q1’2024, compared to 16.82% in Q1’2023.

This was achieved despite a 10.63% increase in operating expenses to $61.4m (Q1 2023: $55.5m). Staff costs rose by 28.55% year-on-year following an increase in staff headcount to support the growth of group business and other initiatives, in line with the bank’s sixth strategic plan, constituting 52.93% of the group’s expenses.

Group total assets closed 1Q’2024 at $ 32.8bn compared to $33.5bn as at Sunday, 31 December 2023 (FY’2023).

Financial strength and strategic outlook

Cash and cash equivalents closed the period at $4.9bn (FY 2023: $5.6bn) with the liquidity ratio remaining strong at 14.9%.

The group’s shareholders’ funds rose by 2.89% to $6.3bn as of 31 March 2024 (FY 2023: $6.1bn) on the back of growth in group net income of $178.7m. Callable capital, a significant proportion of which was credit enhanced as part of the bank’s capital management strategy was maintained at $3.7bn as of 31 March 2024 (FY 2023: $3.7bn).

Denys Denya, Afreximbank's senior executive vice president, commented: "During the first quarter of the financial year 2024, Afreximbank group delivered a strong performance even as we expanded our subsidiary companies’ operations and our activities in the Caribbean.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to prioritise revenue and quality assets growth and operational efficiency, while ensuring capital adequacy and adequate liquidity levels are maintained.

"Focusing on these key areas will enhance the group’s ability to execute its strategy and initiatives as outlined in its sixth strategic plan.”

He added, “The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) strongly supported by a robust payments and settlement system like PAPSS, is poised to strengthen the continent's economic resilience by providing a shield against volatility on the international scene.

"Consequently, Africa is projected to sustain its resilience in 2024 and attain a growth rate of approximately 4 percent. We look forward to the rest of the year with confidence.”

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