NMB Holdings Secures US$57 Million in Credit Lines, Negotiates Additional US$25 Million to Support Exporters

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NMB Holdings has secured US$57 million in lines of credit and is in the process of negotiating an additional US$25 million with two different funders to bolster support for exporters.

Group Chief Executive, Mr. Gerald Gore, disclosed this information at the company’s annual general meeting, emphasizing the bank’s commitment to supporting key economic sectors, particularly agriculture.

“Currently, we have about US$57 million in lines of credit, and we are negotiating with two additional funders. One negotiation is at the documentation stage, and the other has just completed a due diligence exercise, totaling around US$25 million,” Gore said, providing a trading update for the first five months of 2024. He noted that these credit lines are specifically aimed at exporters, as their foreign currency earnings facilitate easier repayment.

Mr. Gore highlighted the significant demand from the agriculture sector, stating, “Many funders prefer to finance agriculture because it supports job creation and is the backbone of our economy. Supporting agriculture impacts various value chains positively.”

NMB Holdings has been actively pursuing strategic partnerships to enhance its capabilities. “Partnerships are essential where we lack capacity. We collaborate with like-minded partners to gain access to the necessary resources. For instance, we have a three-year partnership with Rabobank, a Dutch bank specializing in agriculture, to transform NMB into a leading food and agriculture bank,” Gore explained.

During the review period, NMB Holdings reported total revenue of $1.3 trillion, a 203 percent increase from the same period last year. This growth was driven by transactional income and the lending business, with most revenue now denominated in US dollars. The bank’s balance sheet stands at $1.7 trillion, with 92 percent in US dollars. Additionally, the group has a microfinance division launched last year, which has grown to over 17,000 customers, contributing nearly 10 percent to the group’s profit.

The group also established NMB Properties last year, launching it in May 2024 with an initial capital of US$3.5 million, set to increase to US$10 million for upcoming projects. These include 26 completed cluster units in Marlborough and 18 duplex units currently under construction.

Two years ago, NMB Holdings adopted strategies focusing on strengthening its core banking business and expanding its transactional business through digital platforms. This approach included raising credit lines to support customers’ long-term funding needs and broadening its reach via an agency banking model. The bank also pursued value-added services like bancassurance and money transfer to mobilize foreign currency.

In terms of diversification, the bank has expanded into technology, property, microfinance, and enhanced its service offerings geographically. “We started with the bank as our main subsidiary. Today, we also have NMB Properties, Xplug Solutions in technology, and our microfinance arm, though the bank remains the primary revenue contributor,” Gore noted.

NMB Bank recently migrated to a new core system in April, enhancing its operational capacity. The bank has also partnered with the Government to fund agriculture, supporting nearly 5,000 hectares of soy and maize and targeting 2,500 hectares for the winter crop, of which 700 hectares of wheat have already been funded.

The bank’s partnership with Zimpost has extended its agency banking model, making NMB Bank one of the top three banks in terms of distribution network without building new branches.

“We developed the technology for this agency model, allowing customers to open accounts digitally. Currently, 91 percent of our accounts are opened this way, with customers accessing services at Zimpost outlets if needed,” Gore said. He added that about 50,000 transactions were processed through the agency network in the last quarter, contributing nearly 5 percent to the total transactions.