March 15, 2012 1:19 pm
FIMBank Group has registered an after-tax profit of $9.13 million for 2011, a 35 per cent increase. The group’s balance sheet also saw considerable growth, with total consolidated assets as at December 31, 2011, exceeding the $1 billion mark and standing at $1,018 million, an increase of 18 per cent over end-2010 figures.
Group operating income after net impairment increased by 16 per cent over the same period in 2010, from $32.24 million to $37.40 million. Group operating expenses increased to $28.92 million. Group equity as at December 31, 2011, stood at $125 million, up by three per cent compared to the previous year’s equity levels, reflecting the profit performance for the year as well as the equity retention resulting from the scrip dividend approved in May last year.
The group’s basic earnings per share stood at US cents 6.69 (2010 – US cents 4.97). The directors will be recommending the payment of a scrip dividend amounting to $2,738,034 (2010: $3,371,955) to the annual general meeting of shareholders. This represents a net dividend per ordinary share of 2.003884 US cents (2010: 2.480242 US cents). The directors will be recommending a 1-for-25 bonus issue of ordinary shares by way of capitalisation of share premium.
After a reasonably optimistic start to 2011 and the hope that wide-ranging monetary and fiscal measures across major economies could help revive confidence in international trade and bring back some stability in the financial markets, the political turmoil that spread across North Africa and the Middle East brought caution to the fore again. This scenario provided the background to the Fimbank Group’s performance last year.
President Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger said that while 2011 had yet again proved the group’s ability to navigate the troubled waters of prolonged economic difficulties in the major developed countries, coupled with political unrest in key markets, 2012 should bring much needed signs that the worst may indeed be over.
“Fimbank has a proven track record of turning troubled times into opportunities. 2011 was no exception,” the president said. “In a global scenario characterised by instability, Fimbank’s business model, built and refined over the years, has enabled us to continue identifying opportunities successfully in a diverse range of product niches and geographical markets. However, current market conditions also continue to call for prudence, attention to strong risk management, compliance and focus on doing what the group knows best – trade finance in emerging markets”.
She explained that 2012 will also start to see the business landscape affected by the onset of Basle III, an international regulatory framework for banks which in the coming years will introduce more stringent requirements, particularly for capital adequacy and liquidity.
“Despite these challenges Fimbank Group has now established a wide and diversified product range which, driven by strong business fundamentals, will continue to provide it with opportunities to grow and profit,” she said.
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