FINANCIAL services concern NMB Holdings (NMB)’s total assets grew by 32,66% in the first quarter of this year, funded by increases in credit lines and customer deposits.

Customer deposits grew by 63,7% to $87,1 billion. T

he bank continued to practise prudent lending focusing on quality assets which has kept the non-performing loan ratio at 1,43%.

While the bank has realised an increase in business volumes and transactions, the growth is also reflective of the impact of the exchange rate on United States dollar deposits, according to NMB chief executive officer Gerald Gore.

Last year, the bank accessed a €12,5 million line of credit from the European Investment Bank along with CABS and First Capital Bank.

The bank also accessed lines of credit from Trade and Development Bank (TDB) of about €10 million.

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Currently, it is engaged in discussions with various financiers on a potential line of credit of around US$53 million as it seeks to support the private sector.

“We continue to focus on our core business as we support our customers. We have been on a drive to mobilise lines of credit and last year we accessed lines of credit from the European Investment Bank (€12,5 million) and a TDB of (€10 million),” Gore said while giving a trading update for the quarter ended March 31, 2023.

“These lines are being deployed to export-oriented companies in the productive sectors and are properly ring-fenced to guarantee repayment when they fall due. We are currently engaged in discussions with various funders on a potential pipeline of about US$53 million,” Gore said.

The group generated operating income of $15,9 billion for the quarter, signifying a 613,63% increase from the $2 billion recorded for the same period in prior year.

The strong performance was largely driven by increased transaction volumes, increased income generating projects and modest loan book growth.

Earlier this month, the bank launched its property subsidiary,

NMB proposes to tap into opportunities in the property sector as well as help unlock value from some of the property stock the group holds in the bank.

Gore said the group internally capitalised the subsidiary to the tune of US$3,5 million, seeing massive growth opportunities within this space.

The group was also continuing on its digitisation thrust, he added.

While the economy is experiencing market volatility, Gore said market reservation remained key in terms of preserving capital.

“Our intention is to meet current and future capital requirements from internal sources. The focus for the bank has been on growing foreign currency   and future capital requirements from internal sources,” he said.

“The focus for the bank has been on growing foreign currency-denominated income both from interest and non-interest income while at the same time hardening our Zimbabwe dollar income.”