Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: FNB Declares Second Special Dividend

For the second year in a row, shareholders of FNB Namibia have something to smile about after the country's biggest commercial bank by assets, announced a special dividend of N$1.80 per share.

In addition to the normal dividend distribution for the year of 82 cents per share, FNB Namibia announced on Thursday that shareholders will get a special dividend of N$1.80 per share after surplus capital was realised following the disposal of the company's 51% shareholding in Momentum Life Assurance, and its shareholding in Visa.

FNB realised a profit of N$232 million in the sale of Momentum to Metropolitan in a deal worth N$342 million while a profit of N$9 million was made on the sale of the Visa shares.

For the year ended 30 June 2012, profit from continuing operations increased 16% to N$539 million at the back of satisfactory advances growth (13%), a continued reversal of bad debts and solid growth in non-interest revenue (22%).

Non-interest revenue grew to N$740 million while banking fee and commission income grew by 16% to N$630 million. The increase was attributed to growth in accounts and transaction volumes (there was a 73% growth in cellphone banking users) as well as annual price increases.

The group's total assets increased to N$19.7 billion.

Gross average advances increased 11% year on year to N$13.4 billion with mortgage loans constituting an average 51% of the total loan book.

The year to date ratio for non performing loans to average gross advances decreased from 1.7% last year to 1.2% attributed to the prevailing lower interest rates together with the benefits of a centralised credit collection team and sound lending policy.

Going forward, the group said it was well-positioned to benefit from increased local economic activity in retail and corporate investment banking areas.

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