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FNB Namibia is the largest locally listed company on the Namibian Stock Exchange and the last two financial year’s has seen the Group move closer to its strategic objective of moving from the country’s preferred to the most valued financial services provider.

By Marie Toms


amibia’s financial services sector contributes 5.2 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. It is a vital sector, dominated by big South African institutions. Indeed, three of the four commercial banks operating in the country - First National Bank (FNB) Namibia, Nedbank and Standard Bank Namibia - are South African owned to a significant degree. Perhaps unsurprisingly the Namibian government is keen to increase local ownership and management within the sector, helping it achieve the country’s goal of achieving an economic growth rate of seven percent by 2030. 2

“I believe decisions in the financial sector made locally are more beneficial and cater better for Namibians,” Namibia’s Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said recently. FNB Namibia has supported the move. “In principle we are in agreement with the government stated objectives of transforming the financial services industry,” says Daniel Motinga, FNB Namibia Economist. “For FNB Namibia, there is nothing new in what the Namibian government is saying, the shareholding of FirstRand in FNB Namibia was diluted from 100% in 2002 to its current level of less than 60 percent, inclusive of the public listing of the

FNB Namibia focus banking

company and a progressive BEE share scheme.” Of course, the big thing in the banking world at the moment is tapping into the growing number of unbanked and underbanked consumers worldwide. In Namibia several banks, FNB included, have been more aggressive in offering services and products specifically designed for the market. “The opportunity is that you can turn a consumer with no financial services relationship into a lifelong customer and partner,” says Ian Leyenaar, FNB Namibia’s Chief Executive Officer. According to Dixon Norval, Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at FNB Namibia, there is increasing pressure to extend financial inclusion by offering more appropriate and affordable propositions to marginalised Namibians. “We believe that the most effective way to do this is by means of electronic selfservice channels that are more affordable, easy to use and safe. To this end, FNB has also commenced with a variety of new initiatives, including the launch of two new products aimed at customers with an irregular income. The new Cardwise and Bankwise Zero options mean that you don’t have to pay monthly account fees and that you can still maintain

your bank account even if you earn an irregular income.” FNB has continued with its approach to cater for niche market needs with the introduction of niche service areas such as Tourism, Agriculture, Private Clients and RMB Namibia, the latter offering a specialised unit to focus on investment banking. According to Steve Galloway, CEO of RMB Namibia, it differentiates itself as it consists of a local team of experienced professionals in the field of investment banking. This team has extensive advisory and arranging experience and has been involved in many of the major corporate transactions in Namibia over the last six years, offering advisory services and innovative solutions to complex transactions. Services include mergers, acquisition and disposals, listings and de-listings, corporate restructuring, including debt restructuring, strategic advice and joint ventures, capital raisings, valuations, BEE transactions, LBO transactions, equity-linked funding (convertible and exchangeable instruments), share incentive scheme structuring, share buy-back solutions and NSX Sponsor advice. This is the first of its kind in Namibia and will help grow the economy by using more local capital.

The RMB Namibia team is closely linked to Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg, which houses FirstRand Group’s investment banking expertise. RMB has concluded deals in over 30 African countries, across a wide range of sectors. “The approach to project finance is to work closely with the borrower in order to develop a tailor-made, flexible financial and contractual structure that is robust and sustainable in the long-term, with sufficient flexibility to cater for potential variability over the project lifetime,” says Norval. “We believe that the introduction of these units will ensure that these banking services and its profits remain in the country, rather than being wholly expatriated to South Africa.” FNB Namibia is the largest locally listed company on the Namibian Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of more than N$3.9 billion, which represents 38 percent of the NSX’s total market capitilisation. The last two financial years have seen the Group making progress in its strategic objective of moving from the preferred to the most valued financial services provider in Namibia, Norval says.


FNB Namibia focus banking

FNB Namibia Holdings comprises of five operating entities: FNB, RMB Namibia, OUTsurance Insurance and FNB Insurance Brokers. Through its subsidiaries it provides various financial services to individuals, small businesses, corporate businesses and public sector clients. “Our products and services are available through a country-wide network of 50 branches, 222 ATMs and MiniATMs, and 1,962 point of sale devises across Namibia,” says Norval. After more than 22 years of independence, Namibia still faces huge economic, social and technical challenges. Through targeted corporate social investments FNB Namibia is trying make a sustainable difference, Norval says. “FNB Namibia established one of the first BEE programmes in the country, aimed at wealth distribution and empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals and groups,” he says. “The programme has two focus areas, one being staff members and the other BEE partners. The BEE programme commenced as early as 2003 with the acquisition of Swabou Life Assurance Company Ltd, now Momentum Life Assurance Company Ltd. “Given the limited resources, we closely align our corporate social investments with the FNB Namibia group strategy and the National Development Plan, which will remain an ongoing priority.” “Through the FNB Foundation we spent N$2,694,127 on corporate social responsibility initiatives for the 2011/2012 financial year so far and more than N$26 million since its inception in 2003.” He says the FNB Foundation extended its partnership arrangements with a number of similar entities that allowed a wider reach for projects. “Our key future priority is to have a focused approach to corporate social 4

e-power A private holding company, e.power Consulting & Construction (Pty) Ltd (“e-power”) provides professional engineering, construction and consultancy services to the industry, including: · Building & installation of generator plants · Building & rental to lodges of power packs · Provision of solar systems · Design & creation of electrification plans Our capabilities are enhanced through our affiliate e.control & Panels CC, which specialises in the design and manufacture of low voltage switching panels, generators and other control boards, motor drives, power factor correction panels and distribution boards. Based from our head office in Windhoek, Namibia, we service the entire SADC region.

investments that will leave a lasting result in the focus areas we selected. We will continue to seek smart partnerships with likeminded investors.” FNB was awarded the prestigious Bracken Award as the best bank in Namibia for 2011. The award was presented at the Banker’s Magazine, Bank of the Year Awards in November 2011. It was the fourth time that FNB Namibia has been the recipient of this prestigious award. “Our Home Loans Values Department received the Gold Arrow PMR Awards after receiving the Silver Arrow Award three times in a row!” Norval says. “This award is presented for the most work done in the sector to stimulate economic growth and development in Namibia.” More recently FNB Namibia won the Best Banking Group in Namibia EST award of the World Finance Banking Awards 2012. Vekuii Rukoro, CEO of FNB Namibia Holdings, proudly said: “FNB Namibia is honoured to be the first Namibian Financial

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Services Group to be awarded the Best Banking Group in Namibia for 2012 by World Finance. This award is further testament to our commitment to provide a full range of financial services and products to all Namibians, ranging from the youth, individuals from all walks of life to SMEs, corporates, SOEs, etc.” Rukoro thanked the loyal personal and business clients as well as hardworking staff and management of FNB Namibia for making this happen and added: “We look forward to many more years of rewarding banking with all of you.” “Winning the award was in no way a small achievement,” says Noval. “We are proud of the Best Banking Group award and trust that this will re-confirm to our clients that they are banking with the winning institution in the country.” To learn more visit


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