Year in review by Baronice Hans
Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the national scale ratings assigned to Capricorn Investment Group Limited of AA(NA) and A1+(NA) in the long term and short term respectively; with the outlook accorded as Stable. Global Credit Ratings has also affirmed the national scale ratings assigned to Bank Windhoek Limited of AA(NA) and A1+(NA) in the long-term and short term respectively; with the outlook accorded as Stable. Furthermore, Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the long term South African national scale (Rand) issuer rating of A+ (ZA) assigned to Bank Windhoek Limited; with the outlook accorded as Stable.
Global Credit Ratings (GCR) accorded the above credit ratings to Capricorn Group and Bank Windhoek based on the following key criteria:
The accorded ratings reflect Capricorn Group’s strong domestic market share in the Namibian banking industry and significant presence in the asset management and insurance markets. The ratings also reflect Capricorn Group’s risk appropriate capitalisation, comfortable liquidity, resilient earnings performance, as well as further earnings and geographic diversity from recent acquisitions (January 2017) of banking operations in Zambia and Botswana, contributing a combined 17.9% to group consolidated assets at FY17 (30 June 2017) and 3.8% of pre-tax profits. While GCR expects the Group to remain resilient, the prevailing economic challenges and an uncertain global economic outlook, will continue to put pressure on Capricorn Group’s (and the financial sector in general) earnings and asset quality metrics.
Bank Windhoek, the Group’s leading operating subsidiary, is the largest locally owned bank and second largest commercial bank in Namibia. Bank Windhoek contributed an 80.1% of the Group’s consolidated assets at FY17 (FY16: 98.2%) and a higher 87.0% (FY16: 86.6%) of pre-tax profit following recent acquisitions.
While the Group’s ratings have largely replicated Bank Windhoek’s ratings, GCR has taken cognisance of added diversification benefits from recent acquisitions at Group level.
We are proud of maintaining our credit rating score and believe that with our staff’s dedication and determination, it will be maintained for the considerable future.
This focus, combined with the work done on the customer value proposition and digital focus areas in the past few years, delivered the following:
• The launch of an e-money functionality through the Bank Windhoek EasyWallet – the e-wallet solution enables customers to send money to any MTC number via a mobile phone. Recipients do not need a Bank Windhoek account and can immediately withdraw cash at any Bank Windhoek ATM or access prepaid services and buy airtime or electricity.
• The launch of GoPay, a mobile payment solution for fuel. More than 80 Namibian fuel merchants signed up for the service, which allows Bank Windhoek customers to pay for fuel using their existing cell phone banking platform. The solution is cashless, cardless and can be actioned remotely, thereby reducing costs, such as ATM fees for cash withdrawals, and improving convenience.
• The upgrading of ATMs to reflect a new vibrant look and feel adapting the Bank’s corporate identity with modern animated screens to ensure a world-class experience. Implementation of three additional languages to transact in, with more to follow in the New Year.
As a key player in the Namibian banking sector, we must stay ahead to compete. We believe in building lasting relationships with our customers and stakeholders, and aspire to be catalysts of sustainable opportunities.
Finally, I wish to thank all our customers and stakeholders for their loyalty and continued support during 2017. May you have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.
By Baronice Hans, Managing Director of Bank Windhoek