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Ade Ayeyemi, ETI Group CEO

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Nedbank Group shareholders are referred to the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) financial results announcement for the full year 2016, which was released by ETI on 18 April 2017.

“The Francophone West Africa and Anglophone West Africa regions continue to perform positively generating over 40% of the Group’s revenues at a return on equity above 24% and 32% respectively. We remain the leading bank in these regions. I remain confident in the result of the cost efforts and in our ability to deliver a leading service for our customers which will be reflected in improved key performance indicators in 2017 and beyond,” says Ade Ayeyemi, ETI Group Chief Executive Officer.

ETI is our strategic partner in Central and West Africa and we have a shareholding of approximately 20% in ETI. As disclosed in the Group’s Integrated Report at 31 December 2016, the carrying value of this investment in ETI, net of a ZAR1 billion impairment provision, was ZAR4 billion and the Group’s market capitalisation was ZAR118 billion.

The carrying value represents approximately 3,4% of the Group’s market capitalisation.

Associate earnings from the Group’s share of ETI’s attributable income are equity accounted one quarter in arrear using ETI’s publicly disclosed results. ETI reported an attributable loss of USD250m for the full year 2016, including an attributable loss of USD427m for the fourth-quarter in 2016.

The Group will equity account its share of ETI’s fourth-quarter loss in the first quarter in 2017. The Group’s Q1 2017 associate loss from ETI therefore amounted to approximately ZAR1.2 billion (Q1 2016: ZAR676 million loss).

Accounting for this associate loss in Q1 2017, together with Nedbank’s share of ETI’s Other Comprehensive Income (OCI) and Nedbank FCTR, will decrease the carrying value of the Group’s investment in ETI from ZAR4 billion in December 2016 to approximately ZAR2.9 billion in March 2017.

The ETI board also announced a proposed convertible bond issue of up to $400 million of which approximately USD300m is currently supported by existing shareholders.

About $200 million of this funding will be used to repay the short-term financing used in setting up a resolution vehicle in Nigeria with the sole objective of ring-fencing the legacy loans from Nigeria’s core bank.

The remaining funding raised is for a conscious debt restructure of the maturity profile of the ETI Holdco balance sheet. The bond matures 5 years from issue date and the conversion price of the offer is 6 USD cents compared to a current price of 3 USD cents with an interest rate of 6.46% above LIBOR.

Nedbank Group is currently not part of the group of existing shareholders who have indicated appetite for the $300 million of this funding as the commercial terms of this convertible bond do not meet Nedbank’s required internal rate of return.

ETI’s 2016 performance reflects the tough economic environment in Nigeria which represents 32% of its advances. In Nedbank Group’s 2016 financial results announcement we noted that: ‘Conditions in the key markets in which ETI operates are currently expected to remain difficult in 2017, before improving in 2018 and beyond’. Consequently, these ETI results and in particular the Q4 2016 results are largely as anticipated at the time Nedbank Group reported its 2016 results and impaired its investment in ETI by ZAR1 billion.

The long-term growth potential of financial services in the rest of Africa  remains attractive. We therefore remain committed to our strategy and investments in the rest of Africa, to ETI as our partner in Central and West Africa and to growing the Group’s own operations in SADC and East Africa.

“The extent of the oil and commodity crisis and its impact on the Nigerian economy resulted in Nigeria’s first recession in 25 years. This has negatively impacted ETI’s short term performance and profitability. We expect that as the Nigerian economy recovers and ETI builds on their strong positioning in Central and West Africa that longer term performance will improve off a low base. We remain supportive of the strengthened ETI management team and will continue to work closely with ETI’s shareholders, board and management team to unlock value,” says Mike Brown, Nedbank Group Chief Executive Officer.

An update on Nedbank Group’s performance for the first quarter of 2017 will as usual be provided to shareholders at our Annual General Meeting on 18 May 2017 and Nedbank Group’s interim results for the six months to 30 June 2017 will be published on 31 July 2017. The financial information on which this voluntary announcement is based has not been reviewed or reported on by the group’s auditors.

 

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