The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) released its audited financial statements in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday, for the year ended December 31, 2019. It recorded a gross income of $1.1 billion.

The result indicates a 29.7 percent growth in gross income in 2019, compared to $813.9 million 2018, and moves Afreximbank above the $1 billion income mark for the first time.

This performance, reflecting a net income of $315.3 million and a 14.3 percent increase over the 2018 performance of $275.9 million, is mainly attributed to a higher operating income of $622.5 million compared to $489.8 million in 2018.

Afreximbank grew its total assets by 7.6 percent, from $13.42 billion on December 31, 2018, to $14.44 billion as at December 31, 2019, resulting mainly from growth in net loans and advances.

Afreximbank president, Prof. Benedict Oramah, noting that the bank’s performance exceeded its strategic plan target in spite of the economic uncertainties of the global operating environment, says: Afreximbank continues ‘‘to deliver the objectives of its current five-year strategic plan, dubbed IMPACT 2021, by prioritising initiatives aimed at promoting and financing intra-African trade.”

Regarding concerns of the Covid-19 and the likelihood of a global recession, Prof. Oramah says Afreximbank is taking steps to manage the impact of the pandemic on loans and advances to customers, adding: “Afreximbank is making arrangements to support its member countries in need.”

Afreximbank has earlier announced a $3-billion Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to help African countries deal with the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility, approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors at its sitting on March 20, 2020, will assist member countries to adjust to shocks caused by Covid-19 to their financial, economic and health services, support member country central banks and other financial institutions in meeting trade debt payments that fall due, and help them to stabilise their foreign exchange resources.

The facility will also assist member countries whose fiscal revenues are tied to such export revenues as mineral royalties to manage sudden fiscal revenue declines resulting from reduced export earnings and provide emergency trade finance facilities for import of urgent needs to combat the pandemic, including medicine, medical equipment and hospital refitting.

The facility is available through direct funding, lines of credit, guarantees, cross-currency swaps and similar instruments.