The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has released its annual results for the 2015 / 16 period.
The Bank amended its reporting period from the end of the calendar year to the end of March 2016 to coincide with the financial year of its shareholder, the government. The annual report for 2015 / 16 covers a 15-month period. Standard 12-month reporting will be resumed in 2017 reporting.
During the period DBN loans and advances grew to N$3.8 billion as at 31 March 2016, up from N$2.3 billion in 2014. The growth is primarily attributable to the increased scope and larger amounts approved per project.
Over the same period, net interest income grew from N$215.56 million in 2014 to N$339.78 million. Net income grew from N$147.25 million to N$208.76 million. The Bank reapplies the majority of its net income to lending in the interests of development.
For the period under review, the Bank maintained the quality of its loan and investment portfolio with bad debts of 4.1 percent, which is below the maximum budget percentage of 5.0 percent. This falls approximately 30 percent below the recommended level of bad debt of 6 percent advocated by the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI).
The Bank’s assets grew to N$4.59 billion as at 31 March 2016, up from N$2.92 billion at the end of 2014, an increase of 57.2 percent on the back of the high loan book growth.
During the period, the Bank in consultation with the shareholder, revised its lending and investment focus and ceased providing direct finance for small and medium enterprises to focus on the provision of finance for infrastructure and to enterprises with an annual turnover of above N$10 million, as well as business projects valued at more than N$10 million.
CEO Martin Inkumbi said that the shift in strategic focus was prompted primarily by the mandate of the SME Bank to provide finance to smaller enterprises. In addition, the shift is supported by a growing finance ecosystem of commercial lending activities and specialist private funds that finance SMEs. The benefit to the Bank, Inkumbi said, is that it can evolve into its new role as an impactful and effective financing agency for larger initiatives.
He added that the Bank has put in place a sound risk management system which envisages the requirements for preservation and sound management of its own pool of capital, as well as capital entrusted to it by the shareholder, private sector sources and external agencies.
In terms of organisational development, Inkumbi said the Bank is establishing an in-house treasury function to support its capital raising efforts and liquidity management. A post investment and loan monitoring function was created as part of DBN's credit risk management function to ensure appropriate utilisation of the Bank’s funds and to support ongoing risk management of enterprises and projects that the Bank has invested in.
Inkumbi concluded by noting that the Bank put in place an environmental and social management system, known as the ESMS, to mitigate harmful impacts that could emanate from the projects and business activities of enterprises it is financing. An environmental risk manager was appointed to oversee the function.
Solar power for the Otjozondjupa Region. The Development Bank of Namibia has followed up on the success of the Omburu Solar Park by providing finance for the 4.5 MW photovoltaic power plant near Okahandja.
Renewable energy finance powers Namibian energy sector
Development Bank of Namibia finance for Osona photovoltaic plant
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced that it has provided finance for another solar power generating facility, Osona Sun Energy, located near Okahandja. The plant, nearing completion, has a capacity of 4.5 MW.
The plant, which will operate in terms of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with NamPower, was developed by InnoSun. InnoSun, founded and headed by father and son team Grégoire and Thomas Verhaege, also constructed the Omburu photovoltaic park. Osona Sun Energy is owned by a consortium of investors comprised of InnoSun and Black Diamond Investments, a local BEE group that holds a 30 percent share in the company.
DBN Head of Lending, John Mbango, said that InnoSun and Black Diamond Investments have proven to be skilled and trustworthy partners for finance. The Bank, he says, closely considers the track record of all applicants. The fact that the establishment of the Omburu photovoltaic plant proceeded smoothly has given the Bank full confidence in InnoSun’s operational capacity.
Mbango also said that he was pleased that the partners chose DBN as the vehicle for finance.
According to Mbango, the Bank welcomes additional applications from enterprises that have used DBN finance to good effect. This open door policy encourages reinvestment of profits in related or other areas by enterprises that have proven their ability to prosper and contribute to Namibia's economic growth.
Talking about solar energy in Namibia, Mbango said that on the basis of the photovoltaic projects, the Bank has developed a strong body of knowledge on the business model and technology and skills required for a solar park. He added that the Bank will welcome applications from other projects in the same field, as well as other renewables, subject to demand and feasibility of PPAs with NamPower.
Mbango said that privately owned utilities are an emerging trend in provision of services, along with public private partnerships. He concluded that DBN will consider enterprise finance applications of this nature, but that these have to be accompanied by firm commitments from SOEs and / or local authorities acquiring the services of utilities.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) recently donated N$50,000 towards construction of a school hall for Romanus Kamunoko Secondary School in Rundu. The school currently has to rent larger premises when its learners are required to sit for exams.
Talking at the handover, DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi said that he and many of his colleagues attended schools with limited facilities. However with determination to learn, they were able to rise to the challenge of learning, and improve their prospects in life.
Addressing the learners, Inkumbi said that the outcome of diligent study would lead to a higher quality of life in adulthood. He told the learners that although they should set aside some time for relaxation, they should place a high degree of emphasis on their studies.
He added that learning was a partnership between the parent, the teacher and the learner, and that all three should be actively engaged in the education of the learner. He said that parents and carers should take an active interest in the progress of learners, and endeavour to assist if learners fell behind.
Inkumbi concluded by saying that he hoped that some of the learners would join the Bank as valued, knowledgeable employees.
In addition to finance provided for private tertiary, secondary and primary educational facilities, the Bank provides support for public sector schools through its social responsibility programmes, including assistance with upgrading of hostel facilities for one school, and support to a school damaged in flooding in the north.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has announced that it is visiting the Kunene Region from 22 August to 24 August to raise awareness of its financing opportunities.
The visit will be led by DBN CEO Martin Inkumbi.
Talking about the visit, Inkumbi said that networking events will be conducted to inform potential borrowers on the Bank's products and requirements for finance.
Inkumbi said that the Bank has taken note of the Kunene Region's drive for development, and that the Bank is undertaking the visit with the aim of providing financing support to enterprises and local and regional authorities.
He went on to say that the region is in an excellent position to further develop itself. He cited a need for development of roads, as well as power infrastructure to reach the region's community. In terms of enterprise, he added that the Bank believes that there is room for growth particularly in tourism, but that the Bank is also promoting itself to new enterprises which project an annual turnover of more than N$10 million, and existing enterprises seeking to expand.
He also said that the Bank is providing finance for serviced land, and that this will be prioritised for local authorities in Kunene as well.
Since its inception, the Bank has allocated more than N$76 million in finance to the region. Of this, approximately 68 per cent was allocated to construction and approximately 20 per cent to the hotels and restaurants sector. The Bank has also provided finance to small-scale manufacturing, small-scale mining and quarrying, real estate and business services, and wholesale, retail trade and repairs.
Inkumbi added that the Bank is aware that use its finance is subject to regional demand, however visits to regions are seen as key to stimulating demand. He concluded by saying that he hopes there will be notable growth in demand from the Kunene Region as a result of the visit, and urged entrepreneurs and local authorities to find out more about the Bank's products.
Networking events will be held in Khorixas on 22 August at 11h30 in the Town Council Chambers, in Outjo on 23 August from 10h30 at Etotongwe Lodge and in Opuwo on 24 August from 14h30 in the Ministry of Gender Hall.
Development Bank of Namibia Innovation Award and Good Business Award Entries are open.
The search for the the most innovative business and the best business for 2016 has begun.
CALL FOR PUBLIC ENTRIES
The most innovative business idea will receive up to N$250,000 assistance from DBN.
Entries in the fields of manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism are encouraged.
Develop a proposal based on one or more of these considerations:
DBN seeks innovative business ideas that:
Proposals will be assessed by independent and DBN experts.
DBN respects the ownership of intellectual property.
Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) Chairperson Tania Hangula has visited the northern regions of Omusati and Oshana to assess the Bank's impact and familiarise herself with projects that the Bank is financing. She will then proceed to Erongo to familiarise herself with projects in that region.
Talking about her visits, Hangula said that the regions were singled out for their high potential to contribute to Namibian development in terms of their demographics. She noted that there was a requirement in both regions for infrastructural development, as well as construction. She added that the Bank is also seeking opportunities to provide finance, particularly in three key sectors identified by the Fourth National Development Plan: manufacturing, transport and logistics, and tourism.
Hangula added that the Bank also hopes to make impacts in priority development fields of water security, electricity generation and provision of serviced land.
She said that finance provided by the Bank in Omusati and Oshana was not an indication of the potential of the regions, and encouraged enterprises, state-owned enterprises, local and regional councils to approach the Bank. Hangula added that the Bank's finance is favourably geared to enabling projects with a beneficial development impact.
On the topic of Erongo, Hangula said that the region is in many ways a model for other regions across Namibia. She said that although the region possesses sea ports, long borders with neighbouring countries and multiple access points indicate the potential exists for greater levels of trade. She went on to say that primary sector mineral wealth in many regions could stimulate secondary and tertiary activity, as it had in Erongo.
Hangula also encouraged entrepreneurs to consider opportunities for intra-regional trade with other Namibian regions. There is ample opportunity for stimulation of economic activity within the borders of Namibia. In this regard she pointed to the impact of economic activity in Erongo on regions such as Khomas and Kunene. The Bank would like to see the same model emerge between regions such as Omusati and Oshana.
She described Erongo as a powerhouse in the Namibian economy, and said that DBN will continue to stimulate the region, in light of its contribution to the region. Her visit to Erongo, she said, is intended to cement relationships between the Bank and key enterprises and regional and local authorities, and identify new areas where DBN finance can have a beneficial impact.
On the topic of regional demand for finance, Hangula said that demand was greatest in Khomas and Erongo. She said that high demand in Erongo and Khomas is expected to persist, but that the Bank is currently seeking opportunities to stimulate all regions with finance offerings. The Bank, however, depends on demand for finance, so in order to foster inclusive regional participation, Hangula concluded by urging entrepreneurs and infrastructure project initiators to approach the Bank with applications for finance.
Hangula was appointed as Chairperson of the Bank's Board by Minister of Finance, Hon. Calle Schlettwein, with effect from 1 January 2016. She the Executive Director of Arandis Mining and Managing Member of Umoja Trading, which has interests in the petroleum industry and other Namibian business sectors.
In the current circumstance of the pressing need for water security, the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is stepping up to the plate to assist with finance for feasible projects that work towards water security, says CEO Martin Inkumbi.
The Bank, Inkumbi says, has the necessary experience to provide finance geared to water provision. In this regard, he cites projects financed by DBN, such as Aqua Utilities which semi-purifies water for industrial purposes in Walvis Bay, as well as finance for water reticulation for various local authorities and private developers as part and parcel of finance for serviced land.
Given feasibility and financial viability, the Bank will prioritise finance for water infrastructure. He goes on to say that the Bank is aware that finance will be a barrier to planning, so an indication of availability of finance can be a means to speed up the planning and early implementation of water infrastructure and water delivery services.
Talking about project timelines, Inkumbi notes that although the Bank will seek to contribute finance for short-term alleviation of needs, the Bank is also aware that drought is a recurring phenomenon, and will look favourably on medium to long-term solutions, that ensure long-term water supply.
Local authorities critical
Concerning the scope of finance, Inkumbi says that the immediate focus of the Bank will be local authorities, as these are the key providers of water to households and enterprises. He says that the Bank believes that rehabilitation of aging water infrastructure, as well as provision of new infrastructure to distribute water in a more efficient manner, are areas with a high potential to generate water savings.
He goes on to say that the Bank will also consider finance for better administration of water. By improving payment and administration systems for water, more funds can be released through local authorities to further develop the supply of water on a national level.
In terms of practical implementation, Inkumbi says the Bank has a strong body of experience in assessing public-private partnerships (PPPs), and the Bank's assessment of an application for finance will be a strong indicator of the feasibility of the project.
Finance for enterprise initiatives
On the topic of enterprise water-consumption and efficiency, Inkumbi states that this is a concern to the Bank. He points out that a loss of capacity due to water cuts, either in the form of a shutdown of production or a slowdown, immediately affects the viability of the enterprise, creates a drag on growth and will impact economic development and employment.
He says that enterprises with plans to implement new water efficient technology or rehabilitate existing technology should contact the Bank concerning finance. In light of the cost of loss of productivity, he says enterprises should view this form of plan as a means to sustain themselves, not just immediately, but also in future.
Although there is an immediate need for water efficiency, Inkumbi stresses that feasibility and financial viability of water delivery are crucial. We should not risk immediate solutions that are not sustainable in the long-term, or that remove water from the local authority system, as is the case with grey water, which has to be reclaimed for purification, he points out.
He says the Bank will filter applications through its environmental and social management system (ESMS) to ensure that potentially harmful impacts are mitigated, and that the regulations of local authorities concerning water are adhered to.
He also encourages engineers and project managers to approach the Bank to familiarise themselves with the Bank's ESMS.
Finance for bulk water
On the topic of finance for national projects, Inkumbi says due to the size of the requirement, this will be a challenge for the pool of Namibian financial resources. He notes that current projections will place strain on any single source of finance, so syndicate finance will be required.
In conclusion, Inkumbi reiterates that the Bank will open the financing tap for feasible projects. He says that in the past, the Bank has responded rapidly and effectively to emerging issues, and that the Bank will do so to improve water security as well.
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Tania Hangula as member and Chairperson of its Board of Directors, effective 1 January 2016.
DBN Innovation Award runners-up NamClay Oshigali and natural mahangu cereal Potential for processing and packaging local staples.