FIMBank plc issued its Interim Directors’ Statement on 10 October. The trade finance specialist stated that despite the difficult global environment and declines in commodity, freight and oil prices, the Group’s performance for the second half of 2008 (based on the unaudited and unpublished consolidated management accounts for the nine months ended 30 September 2008 and other financial information available) is strong and continues to show improvement over the same period last year and in line with the trend experienced for the first half of 2008. This confirm that the strategic decisions made in recent years, particularly the diversification through new investments, products and markets, have been the right ones. FIMBank noted that trade, especially in essential and important commodities, including in emerging markets, will continue to flow even in challenging economic conditions.
FIMBank announced that its liquidity ratios remain high and well above regulatory requirements, and no liquidity pressures have materialised as the Group’s funding is now more diversified, more deposit-based than in the past as our correspondents continue to support the Group. Asset quality also continues to be good as the Group became more selective with corporate risks, tenors and security of transactions.
FIMBank’s Directors reiterated that the steady performance in both banking and forfaiting business is still expected to compensate overall for the absence of a contribution from the results of Global Trade Finance, the factoring associate company which was sold in March 2008. Meanwhile progress at the Group’s factoring operations in Dubai and Egypt remains encouraging.
Moreover FIMBank’s Directors stated that while the recent drops in FIMBank’s share price may be a reaction to the general sentiment arising from the financial market crises, they are not supported by any relationship or reference whatsoever to the financial health of the Group. On the contrary, the Board of Directors considers that the strong trade finance fundamentals of the Group and its operating and financial soundness continue to provide much opportunity for value accretion and the positive sentiment surrounding the Group’s financials still have to be reflected in the market price of FIMBank’s equity.
The Board concluded by reassuring that FIMBank’s business remains resilient, its performance strong and the financial position of the Group sound. FIMBank is looking at the crises as a time of opportunity for when market dislocation eventually turns around.