File image: The Land and Agricultural Development Bank on Thursday, released a strong set of results for the financial year ending March 31, 2017,

JOHANNESBURG - The bank said this was achieved despite tough agricultural conditions, including the worst drought in a century and a contracting economy, characterised by volatile exchange rates and commodity prices and credit ratings uncertainty.

A consolidation of the Bank’s earning’s base resulted in an 11 percent growth of the gross loan book. This, together with more appropriate risk-based pricing resulted in an increase in net interest income by 10.8 percent to R1.3 billion, from R1.1 billion in 2016.

Investor confidence also continued to improve, with Land Bank managing to conclude two major funding transactions during the year under review. 

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The finalisation of R1.3 billion agricultural development facility with the World Bank and the U.S.$300 million commercial facility supported by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) were two noteworthy achievements. 

This is especially significant, as the Bank does not receive any direct financial subsidies from government and has to raise money directly from the capital markets to drive its mandate of facilitating economic transformation and social inclusivity in the agricultural sector. 

The Bank does, however, receive guarantees from government from time-to-time, approximately 10 percent of the liabilities of the Bank is guaranteed.

Chief executive Petrus Nchocho said the Bank has delivered strong capital adequacy, liquidity coverage and net stable funding positions, exceeding its targets for all three ratios during the period under review.

Nchocho said the sustainable and strong balance sheet serves as a foundation to fund the future growth of the Bank.

"Moody’s Investor Services has upheld the National Scale credit rating of the Bank during the period under review in spite of the current socio-economic and political climate," Nchoncho said.

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"Land Bank also obtained an unqualified audit opinion for the financial year in question, demonstrating its commitment to good governance and sound banking principles."

Nchocho said senior officials of the Bank would embark on a deal specific debt roadshow during the week starting August 7, to engage with current and potential future investors.

 - African News Agency (ANA)