The Capricorn Group, whose flagship company, Bank Windhoek, is the second largest bank in Namibia after FNB, is looking for more partnerships.
Early this year, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) acquired a 25 percent stake in Capricorn.
In the past, Bank Windhoek was the subject of interest from Barclays Bank, but the move was blocked by the Bank of Namibia, which said at the time it did not want a wholly-owned Namibian bank to go into foreign hands.
Managing Director, Thinus Prinsloo, said on Wednesday that Capricorn was exploring further strategic partnerships in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, the markets in which it operates.
He declined to give further details on these plans, saying they will be revealed at a later stage.
“We are focused on building and extending the group’s foundation in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.”
He said the group’s future growth will be driven mainly by market share opportunities in Zambia and Botswana.
“In Namibia, the focus will be more on client loyalty and retention through innovative offerings and digital enablers.”
Prinsloo said GIPF showed its commitment to fulfilling the role of shareholder of reference by offering immediate long term debt funding of N$1.3 billion to the group. Capricorn also committed to a 10-year debt funding amounting to N$900 million.
“This enabled the group to make available committed contingent funding facilities on its three operating banks.”
The group has also put in place N$1 billion liquidity asset investments to fund a committed contingency facility to the three operating banks.
In its 2017 Integrated Annual Report, the company said operating profit increased by two percent to N$1,1 billion. The group recorded a 1,4 percent increase in profit after tax, which reached N$918 million.
Capricorn was affected by the pressure that faced the money markets in 2016 as a result of Government’s reduced spending in construction and infrastructure.
The group expects Namibia’s economic growth to rebound this year based on a decelerated pace of the construction industry contraction as well as expectations of further growth in the mining sector. The group said domestic economic growth is expected to improve by 1,2 percent in 2017.
“From 2018, onward, GDP growth is likely to be supported by an expansion in uranium mining and slower pace of contraction in construction activity. The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) predicts that private sector credit extension is expected to recover and average between seven percent and eight percent for the 2017 calendar year,” the group said.