The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Manager: Corporate Communication, Jerome Mutumba, describes the Bank as a model for corporate social enterprise in the financial sector. The Bank he says, transcends stereotypes of financial enterprises, by reapplying profits in the interests of financial service delivery, while delivering growth.
The key distinction, Mutumba says, is that DBN has a core focus on long-term growth of its balance sheet, whereas private sector providers of finance are often constrained by shareholder requirements for short-term returns. He illustrates this point by saying that the Bank’s apportionment of its earnings consists primarily of reapplication of funds to additional lending for infrastructure and enterprises. The Bank also allocates returns to prudent financial reserves, and redemption of its bond.
The application of funds for lending has a multiplier effect on the DBN’s capacity to lend. This can be seen from the Bank’s approvals growth from N$110.7 million reported in 2005, to N$4.42 billion in 2017. The Bank’s balance sheet stood at approximately N$7.82 billion in 2017. Mutumba says that this should not just be seen as financial growth but also a multiplier of the number of projects, scope and size, in the fields of both enterprises and infrastructure.
Taken in total, Mutumba says, the track record of growth and the exercise of social purpose show that social enterprise can flourish in the financial sector. The benefit of this approach is seen in investor confidence, proven by subscribers to the Bank’s bond. Mutumba adds that not only does the bond add to the range of investment mechanisms within Namibia, but it also gives investors an opportunity to harvest returns from social enterprise.
Mutumba highlights several additional valuable applications of the Bank’s earnings. DBN, he says, sets allocates a portion of its earnings for various applications that can be seen as further investment in Namibia. This portion, he says, is set aside with the agreement of the Bank’s shareholder, the Minister of Finance.
The first portion is allocated to DBN’s Project Preparation Fund (PPF). This Fund is applied to projects that have potentially significant development impact, but do not yet meet the Bank’s requirements. Financial resources from the PPF are allocated to further analyse areas of the application to identify risks, and recommend mitigation measures. Through this mechanism, DBN is able to finance projects which might previously posed a threat to its sustainability.
The second portion is allocated to corporate social investment. Mutumba says that the Bank’s core business is to preserve its sustainability and grow through lending, however it took a decision to provide donor finance to projects which would not ordinarily qualify for finance through corporate social investment. Projects financed under this allocation are selected to alleviate poverty, develop education, develop skills, steward the environment, improve community health, and improve the business environment.
A third portion is allocated to the Innovation Award. This initiative provides a solution to Namibia’s need for innovation by identifying the most innovative enterprise entered for consideration by the public, and rewarding the winner with a combination of grant finance and loan finance. Capital provided by the Innovation Award is seen as seed finance.
Finally, DBN also hosts the Good Business Awards. These awards are used to highlight a combination of good business administration and development impact to the public, as a stimulus to administer enterprises well, and / or to apply for DBN finance.
Mutumba concludes by saying that the Bank is a case study, not only for social enterprise in the financial sector, but also for the means in which finance providers can allocate CSI and outreach budgets to secure their operations, and improve their operating environments.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO Martin Inkumbi has announced that the Bank has opened its SME Centre in Windhoek, and that the financing function has been extended to its regional offices in Walvis Bay and Ongwediva. The SME Centre, he says, will bridge the gap in financing left by the closure of SME Bank.
Explaining the gap, Inkumbi says that while there is a financing ecosystem for SMEs in the commercial banking sector, there is a national imperative to finance SMEs that have lower levels of collateral availability, but still present a high degree of potential in terms of sustainability of the enterprise in spite of perceived risk. Perceptions of risk, he says, might emanate from lower collateral availability, but also from establishment in centres with lower population figures, rural areas, and in regions with lower economic activities.
Talking about DBN’s SME financing process, Inkumbi states that DBN’s operation bears no relation to SME Bank. Contrary to speculation, the Bank has no intention to operate in the retail banking field, and views itself as a pure development finance institution (DFI).
He continues to say that the Bank has a long track record of governance and due diligence in the field of SME finance, stretching back to shortly after the Bank’s inception, and this is now vested in the DBN SME Centre, to provide DBN with greater control in the form of a siloed operation, which due to its nature and relative risk, has intensive diligence requirements. Previously the Bank processed finance for infrastructure and larger enterprises alongside SMEs.
Talking about the day-to-day operation of the SME Centre, Inkumbi says that although the output can superficially be seen as finance for SMEs, the operation will be underpinned by several layers of support, particularly in the pre- application phase.
In the pre-application phase, the Bank particularly seeks to draw attention to the process of business planning. Without a realistic and achievable business plan, Inkumbi stresses, the applicant places herself / himself in a position of financial risk when borrowing. To this end, the Bank has developed a business plan content guide which will be freely available to potential borrowers. The Bank’s support will also extend to advising on completion of applications, and documents and certification required for the application. We want our borrowers to have the best possible prospect of success, Inkumbi adds.
Inkumbi says that a failed SME is a lost opportunity cost to the Bank, as that capital might have been directed to a different SME which might have flourished. This, he continues, is a matter of the need to preserve the Bank’s sustainability.
Once the complete application, business plan and set of documentation is received, the due diligence can proceed, after which the Bank will give a response to the application. Once the loan agreement has been concluded, Inkumbi says, the Bank will engage in rigorous monitoring to identify borrowers who run into difficulty, and provide corrective support if justified.
In closing, Inkumbi urges applicants to give their best during the planning and application phase. He says, DBN is a Bank that seeks excellence. When borrowers succeed in their enterprise endeavours, the Bank has succeeded in its endeavour to assist them, and to develop the nation.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), has developed a range of products to support the construction industry, says Senior Manager: Corporate Communications, Jerome Mutumba.
Motivating the Bank’s interest in the sector, he says that all economic development will directly or indirectly require construction, typically early in the lifespan of an economic initiative. To illustrate this, he sketches the scenario of a developing town. In order for the town to have inhabitants, housing must be constructed. To make those households sustainable, infrastructure must be constructed. The same applies to commercial infrastructure which is needed to sustain operations and employment.
Still on the topic of employment, Mutumba says that ongoing employment is a prerequisite for development, and although the sector produces a number of permanent jobs, it produces cycles of temporary employment. This form of job creation injects cash into the economy through the consumption that it enables, as well as providing temporary relief for families and individuals.
In light of the sector as a central hub of good development impact, Mutumba says that support to construction is one of the Bank’s natural fields of activity.
The Bank’s range of products, Mutumba says, is the optimum mix to support construction. Products are geared for both PPPs and local authorities, engaged in development of infrastructure, vehicle and asset financing in terms of which moveable assets including vehicles are financed by the Bank through instalment sale agreements (ISAs), and term loans. Contract based finance is available to support tenders. Performance guarantees can also be provided.
Mutumba adds that the Bank has a sound track record of finance for servicing land, as well as residential units, in regions across Namibia. The Bank does however require that enterprises that are constructing business premises such as offices, factories and warehouses should apply directly to the Bank, as the final beneficiaries, rather than contractors.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has set the record straight that it has no plans to transform into a commercial banking institution or fully take over the mandate of the now liquidated SME bank. This comes after the Bank published an expression of interest for the provision of a core-banking system which ignited speculation that DBN might be on a transformative phase.
The Bank’s senior communications manager, Jerome Mutumba confirmed that the need for a core-banking system arose as a matter of improving the bank’s systems.
“DBN has no intention of evolving into a commercial bank. The core banking system has nothing to do really with whether you want to become a commercial bank or a development finance institution or anything. Most organisations have an IT system that they use and I think you have heard of SAP for example. It’s a very common one. It cuts across industries, most businesses actually use it,” he said.
DBN has been utilising the SAP model and a review carried out on the system brought the Bank to identify the need for software that takes care of all gaps that are pertinent to its core-needs without introducing any further costs.
“So what happens is that you look at the nature of your business then you look at the IT system that you have, whether it has models that takes care of the core functions that you want. So when you identify that there are some gaps and limitations, you go out into the market and see if there is a system that more or less can give us a tailor-made model of what we are actually looking for,” said Mutumba.
DBN is currently sourcing a core banking system that has the following features, core banking foundation, customer relationship management, loans management, financial management and information management.
“If you look at the features that we are sourcing, there is nothing that has to do with deposit taking or anything like that. So even if we can use a system that the commercial bank is using, we will not use those models that the commercial bank uses when they are taking deposits, ATMs or anything like that because we do not do those”
“We only stick to those models that are relevant to us, loan book management and other stuff that we are actually looking at. That we are turning into a commercial bank is out of the picture. And those comments that we saw people making, sometimes people want to lead a conversation that they do not necessarily understand. The tender is very clear, it says we are looking for those particular models,” he emphasised.
He added, “The SME Bank was a fully fledged commercial bank while the DBN is a development finance institution. It does not have a commercial banking license. It is not regulated by the central bank, SME Bank was regulated by the central bank because it was taking.”
Transforming into a fully-fledged commercial bank goes beyond merely changing IT systems into fundamentally changing the law that speaks to its mandate, Mutumba said. “DBN has a mandate that is drawn by law so in order for us to become a commercial bank we need to change the law and take it away from the space of a development finance institution,” he said.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Manager: Corporate Communications, Jerome Mutumba, has announced that the Bank will visit the regional capitals of north-eastern Namibia in order to stimulate demand for development finance. The visits begin in Rundu on 5 February, continue to Nkurenkuru on 6 February, and end on 9 February in Katima Mulilo.
Talking about the regions, Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi, Mutumba says they hold significant opportunity for development, in terms of infrastructure and enterprise, however he notes that demand for finance can be strengthened, based on demand from local authorities and entrepreneurs, respectively.
Mutumba says that calls for finance from the regions are low in relation to their potential for economic activity. He illustrates this with the fact that, since inception, there has been no call for finance for tourism and hospitality. This flies in the face of the combination of tourism and hospitality potential, and the Bank’s ability to provide tailored finance, which is flexible, and meets the needs of the tourism industry in other regions of Namibia. The same, he says, is true of other sectors.
In reaching out to the north-eastern regions, Mutumba says the Bank is not only showing its capacity to provide finance, but also challenging entrepreneurs to come forward with their business plans and translate them into operational opportunities with the aid of DBN finance.
The Bank, he says, seeks not only greater levels of economic activity spread across Namibian regions, but also a spread of sectoral activity across the regions.
The three regions, Mutumba says, are connected by the Kavango River, and this offers opportunities for coordination of activities which the Bank may finance. Tourism might explore and further develop the river as a travel route which can add value to tourism in the three regions. He also points to the riverine fishing industry, which is a source of fish regarded as a delicacy in many restaurants across Namibia. This, he says, indicates the need to explore potential for processing and packaging the fish.
Mutumba goes on to add that Nkurenkuru is a particular hotspot for development. As a recently proclaimed regional capital, the centre offers numerous opportunities for further development. This includes excellent possibilities for tourism and hospitality, wholesale and retail, and social enterprises such as private schools and private medical facilities.
On the topic of infrastructure finance for north-eastern Namibia, Mutumba says that the Bank is one of the central agencies tasked with contributing to development of infrastructure. In this light, he encourages local authorities in Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West, to approach the Bank.
The construction of a road, he says, stimulates wellbeing and enterprise at either end, and at all the centres alongside it. Servicing of land, and construction of housing, are important elements in the quest to improve social wellbeing, he continues. Local authorities can draw on the Bank’s expertise in the field of infrastructure financing as a pathway to development.
Mutumba concludes by saying that local authorities and entrepreneurs should view the Bank as a partner in achieving the goals of development of their respective regions. In order to develop the three regions, the Bank sees potential for cooperation and, consequently, expects more applications from the regions.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Senior Manager: Corporate Communications, Jerome Mutumba, says the Bank is seeking opportunities to finance retail, wholesale and franchises. The Bank, he says, has a wide range of products that are geared to assist retail and wholesale operations to grow, as well as to enable new operations to open their doors.
Mutumba says that the Bank is particularly seeking retail expansion into regions with lower levels of economic activity. In addition to employment opportunities, retail in particular stimulates regional growth.
On the topic of the footprint of the sector, Mutumba says that large concentrations of retailers in larger centres, such as at Windhoek or the coast, experience diminishing returns as more outlets vie for the consumer dollar. By spreading to larger centres in regions which have been historically ignored as sources of enterprise growth, retailers can find new opportunities to grow. Group retail operations may also benefit from more frequent spending, and additional disposable income that would previously have been restricted due to the need to travel for shopping.
The Bank’s range of products, Mutumba says, is the optimum mix to support the sector. Products include finance geared for construction of retail premises and warehousing, vehicle and asset financing in terms of which moveable assets including vehicles financed by the Bank through instalment sale agreements (ISA), and term loans. Contract based finance is available to support tenders for provision of goods to state owned entities, the private sector, and NGOs, among others. Franchise finance is also supported by performance guarantees required by master franchisors.
On the topic of flexibility, Mutumba says DBN understands that there may be challenges faced by the enterprise. In order to address this, the Bank may tailor finance to ensure viability of the enterprise.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has expressed satisfaction with its financial performance in an annual report for the financial year that ended 31 March 2017.
Speaking about the results, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi says, the Bank’s loans and advances grew to N$6.7 billion, up from 3.8 billion for the 2016 period. The Bank’s profit was N$172 million. The bulk of this will be redirected to lending, with portions set aside to maintain prudential requirement liquidity standards, for the Project Preparation Fund and for corporate social investments (CSI).
The Project Preparation Fund (PPF) is deployed at the Bank’s discretion, to assist projects with exceptional potential development impact to further prepare business plans and improve their sustainability. In 2017 N$2.7 million was disbursed from the PPF to prepare projects in the fields of renewable energy, and affordable land and housing.
In total, the Bank’s assets grew to N$7.8 billion at 31 March 2017, compared to N$4.6 billion at 31 March 2016.
Asked about loan impairments, Inkumbi says that the Bank’s impairment ratio is 2.9%, below the target of 3% that the Bank imposes on itself. He points out that impairments are delayed repayments, and do not constitute bad debts until the Bank is forced to take legal action. He goes on to say that the level is substantially lower than the 7% benchmark of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI).
In terms of its impact, Inkumbi says the Bank projects that its approvals in 2017 created 2,197 temporary jobs and 1,607 new, permanent jobs. Of its approvals, N$894 million was allocated to previously disadvantaged Namibians, with N$257 million approved for women entrepreneurs and N$148 million for young entrepreneurs.
The Bank, Inkumbi says, has also made strides towards addressing national issues. N$436 million was allocated to construct 736 housing units, and N$114 million was approved for servicing of 498 erven. Allocations to energy generation amounted to N$462 million.
For the financial period that ended March 2017, the Bank has observed lower credit demand in some key economic sectors such as manufacturing and tourism. Allocations to the manufacturing sector for the period amounted to N$140 million. The tourism and hospitality sector received allocations of N$62 million. The Bank’s cumulative investments in these two sectors however remains satisfactory at N$585 million for manufacturing and N$ 452 for the tourism as at the end of March 2017.The transport and logistics sector received allocations of N$2,804 million. These sectors were identified as key to economic development in terms of NDP4, and are still noted as key sectors in NDP5. The Bank does not engage in direct lending to primary agricultural projects, but it does finance agro-processing businesses.
Inkumbi continues by saying that largest regional allocation went to Erongo (N$2,968 million), followed by Khomas (N$524 million) and Omaheke (N$172 million). Projects crossing regions received N$120 million in approvals. In the densely populated northern regions, Oshana led approvals with N$143 million, followed by Omusati with N$130 million.
Leaders and captains of Namibian industry will gather on 15 November 2017, to applaud the best of Namibian enterprises and innovation, as the Development Bank of Namibia once again hosts the prestigious Good Business Awards and Innovation Award. Join us in recognising Namibian excellence, financed and supported by the Development Bank of Namibia.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) will introduce its financing for enterprise and infrastructure – and requirements for financing – from 09.10.2017 to 13.10.2017, in Hardap and //Karas.
Potential borrowers for large and SME enterprises are invited to attend information sessions to be held in the following towns :
Rehoboth Community Hall
10h00 AM - 11h00 AM
Monday - 09.10.2017
11h30 AM - 13h00 PM
Tuesday - 10. 0.2017
Lüderitz Nest Hotel
11h30 AM - 13h00 PM
Thursday - 12.10.2017
Zacharia Lewala Community Hall
12h00 PM - 16h00 PM
Friday - 13.10.2017
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO Martin Inkumbi has announced that the Bank will resume financing for SMEs. The announcement follows in the wake of the suspension of operations of SME Bank.
Talking about the resumption of SME finance, Inkumbi says that due to the gap in the market for finance, the Bank and the Minister of Finance, Hon. Calle Schlettwein, the Bank’s shareholder representative, have agreed that DBN should take the necessary steps to resume its financing activities for SMEs.
Inkumbi says that the Bank has the capacity, the necessary pool of capital, as well as the ability to redirect human resource capacity to fill the gap. Previously, the Bank shifted its focus to providing finance for larger enterprises. Inkumbi, however, states that the Bank has maintained its stable of SME borrowers that it developed prior to the shift in focus, and that new borrowers will be inducted into the current system.
Asked about what SME borrowers can expect from DBN, Inkumbi says that new applicants will be required to demonstrate viability of proposals for finance in terms of the Bank’s assessment process, including business plans, the necessary human resources to maintain operations, willingness to share risks with the Bank, and consideration of aspects of risk entailed in individual applications.
Asked about new elements that may impact SMEs, Inkumbi notes that DBN has put in place an environmental and social management system to ensure adherence to relevant environmental and social legislation, and to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
He also says that the Bank has introduced a client support function which can provide coaching and mentorship to further develop capacity for SMEs.
On the topic of the current SME Bank borrowers, Inkumbi states that DBN will not necessary be taking over existing loans, but will consider new financing requirements to start and or expand business activities. All applications for finance will be subject to DBN’s normal due diligence process. This process, he explains, was established, and has been tested and refined over the years, since the Bank’s inception in 2004.
All applications for SME finance will be treated on individual merit, based on the appraisal of the Bank’s Portfolio Managers, as well as its Credit and Risk Committees. Inkumbi directs potential applicants to the Bank’s website, www.dbn.com.na, where they can find out more about the requirements for borrowing and download application forms.
The Bank, Inkumbi concludes, is aware of the importance of SMEs for the economic development of Namibia. Consequently, successful applicants for SME finance can expect more in terms of support.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) issued the first notes under its N$ 2.5 billion Medium-Term Note Programme on Tuesday 5 September and raised a total amount of N$ 291 million.
The programme is part of the Bank’ strategy to diversify its source of funding and raise money on the market for on-lending to financially viable, environmental, and socially acceptable projects with developmental impact in line with the Bank’s business plan.
The 3-year bond (series “DBN20”) was issued through an oversubscribed auction process that was held on 31 August 2017. The bond pays a floating rate coupon quarterly, linked to the JIBAR rate and will mature on 4 September 2020.
The issue marks the first time that the Bank has formally approached Namibian capital markets to raise funding, and depending on future cash flow requirements, the Bank will be a regular issuer in the Namibian capital markets going forward. This is indeed a momentous occasion for the Bank which signaled market confidence in the Bank.
The Bank had planned to raise between N$200 million and N$ 300 million on its debut bond issue, and was well supported and oversubscribed by 26 staggered bids from 13 different investors both in Namibia and South Africa.
The total subscription amounted to N$ 428 million, and DBN issued a total amount of N$ 291 million at a spread of 190 basis points over the current JIBAR.
The Development Bank of Namibia’s N$2.5 billion Medium Term Note Programme aims to provide an alternative source of funding which forms part of the board approved funding strategy, in line with the bank’s targeted gearing ratio.
DBN has been well capitalized over the years by its sole shareholder- the Government of the Republic of Namibia, but now recognises that it needs to leverage its unencumbered balance sheet.
The Bank has also recently established a treasury function to manage its liquidity and funding needs, and is building an active presence in the Namibian money and capital markets in the realization of one of its core mandate.
The Development Bank of Namibia obtained a Long-Term Issuer Default rating of BBB- and National scale rating of AAA(zaf) by Fitch ratings.
This rating is equal to the sovereign (Government of the Republic of Namibia).
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) CEO Martin Inkumbi has reiterated the Bank’s support for the manufacturing sector. The Bank is currently engaged in a drive to stimulate the sector with finance, and is reaching out to existing manufacturers with expansion plans, and potential manufacturing start-ups.
Inkumbi states that more consumption of locally manufactured goods is required to grow the local manufacturing sector. He adds that charity starts at home, and that to stimulate the sector, both public and private procurement policies and practices should give preference to goods that are produced locally.
This has benefits such as local employment creation and also improving the country’s balance of payments. The cost of a cheaper imported products can be much higher to the Namibian economy than the market price of that product, when lost employment opportunities and drains on the balance of payments are taken into account, he explains. Local value chains must be grown by procuring and consuming locally produced goods wherever possible.
Inkumbi says that the Bank believes that manufacturing can benefit from opportunities through import substitution, in line with NDP5 and the Growth-at-Home strategy. By seeking opportunities, and exploiting them, Namibian manufacturers can make progress towards achieving economies of scale.
This, will also be augmented by the ambitions of manufacturers to penetrate regional markets. Concerning regional markets, Inkumbi states that although South Africa and Angola are experiencing recessionary economic environments, there are opportunities in other countries in the SADC. He says that economic contraction is a cyclical phenomenon, and that the upward trend of growth resumes in the long-term.
He points out that a viable manufacturing enterprise will have the scope to increase its output in future, and encourages entrepreneurs with plans to initiate them now, rather than delay at the expense of future productivity.
In addition to DBN finance applied to local start-ups and expansion, Inkumbi notes that the Bank also makes the offer of trade finance. Regional expansion can be a costly exercise, however with availability of capital for expansion, cross-border ambition should be seen as an investment in long-term returns.
Talking about the Bank’s support to manufacturing, Inkumbi says that the Bank’s lending terms are competitive for manufacturers, however the Bank has expanded its own philosophy to encompass support in the early application phase as well as post borrowing.
In certain instances, where the Bank identifies strong development impact potential, the Bank will make available expertise and financial support for studies and knowledge gathering through its Project Preparation Fund (PPF). The aim of the PPF is to secure the viability of the project and seek means to mitigate risks prior to borrowing.
The Bank also provides access to a network of consultant business professionals who assist with capacity development after lending. This can be used to develop skills or streamline and strengthen operations to the benefit of the borrower.
Talking broadly about access to finance for manufacturers, Inkumbi says that manufacturing enterprises face challenges attaining the optimal financing mix. DBN’s experience indicates that manufacturing enterprises with a higher equity capital in the financing mix tend to do better than those funded solely with debt capital. Manufacturing enterprises require a longer period to achieve break-even, given the complexity of their environments and the need to secure markets for their products.
Inkumbi also points out that the Bank may, at its own discretion, recommend a repayment holiday for manufacturers on interest, capital or both, depending on the requirement of the borrower, the project's cash flow and factors which become apparent in the application assessment.
Talking about indirect benefits to commercial sources of finance, he goes on to say strong manufacturing base will improve the economic ecosystem, and this will also improve long-term prospects for the financial sector, which is a good reason for all financiers to support manufacturing enterprises. He adds that the DBN will consider financial syndication to spread risks.
This however, must be supported by local procurement policies and practices, and financiers should encourage this among their own clients, in effect creating networks of procurement centered on the encouragement and policy of the provider of capital. If local consumers buy more local goods, this will result in higher sales revenues and better profitability for local manufacturers, which will makes it easier for local manufacturers to obtain finance from financiers.
Addressing manufacturers directly, he says that the Bank has a sound track record in financing the manufacturing sector, which includes cement, food processing, manufacturing of plastic goods, printing and agri-processing. Since its inception, the Bank has provided N$1.15 billion in finance to the manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing requires vision and ambition, and the Bank recognises this, and has commenced engaging local manufacturers, to better understand their challenges in raising capital. Manufacturers who have ambition and plans should make use of the Bank’s open door, and expect more, Inkumbi concludes