On 17 May, FIMBank plc published its Interim Directors’ Statement covering the period between the start of 2011 to date. The Directors explained that the expectations of reviving confidence in international trade on the back of wide-ranging monetary and fiscal measures across major economies at the beginning of 2011 was thwarted by the political turmoil that unfolded across North Africa and the Middles-East. Moreover, the FIMBank Directors stated that the extent to which it may dampen business development in these markets is still unknown. Although the Group’s exposure in Libya and Egypt are well under control, the FIMBank Group continues to monitor the situation in order to avail itself of any opportunities that may arise once things become more stable.
In the meantime, the Directors reiterated that FIMBank has recently signed a loan agreement for USD60 million with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which includes a 75% participation from the Saudi Fund for Development. Moreover, the Directors confirmed that the Group has concluded negotiations during the period under review with the IFC and a private financial group, BICBANCO to create a new joint venture in Brazil under the name of Brazil Factors. Further details on these developments available here.
The Directors also updated the investing public on the performance of its operational subsidiaries. London Forfaiting Company maintained its consistently strong trading performance whilst conditions for MENA Factors continued to stabilise as market sentiment in the MENA region improved. FIMBank reported that the recently formed India Factoring got off to a fine start in 2011 reflecting the Group’s past positive experience in the country. Another recently set-up factoring joint-venture, FactorRus, is still starting up whilst Levant Factors continued to increase its portfolio and revenue base despite its small size.
The Directors also reminded shareholders of the on-going share-for-share exchange offer by FIM Holdings plc. Shareholders are being asked to exchange their existing shares in FIMBank plc for the same number of shares in FIM Holdings plc – a newly incorporated holding company. If the share-for-share exchange is successful, the FIMBank Group and its shareholders are expected to benefit from an optimized structure and improve profit efficiency. Further details on the share-for-share exchange is available here.
In conclusion, the Directors stated that the overall Group performance for the period under review is satisfactory and remains supported by strong risk management, low impairments, a healthy balance sheet and strong capital and liquidity ratios.