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Africa Finance Corporation Response to Moody’s Rating Decision

Lagos 06 May 2020: On 5 May, 2020, Moody’s Investor Services affirmed the Africa Finance Corporation’s (“AFC” or “the Corporation”) long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings at A3. Concurrently, Moody’s also affirmed the Corporation’s provisional long-term foreign currency senior unsecured MTN programme rating at (P)A3, the short-term issuer rating at P-2 and the short-term rating at (P)P-2. The outlook has however changed from stable to negative.

According to Moody’s the main driver for the change in outlook from stable to negative was the potential impact on AFC’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (“CAR”) of worsening asset performance due to the very severe COVID-19 driven economic shock across sub-Saharan Africa. AFC has maintained CAR of above 30% since inception consistent with internal prudential guidelines and as at 31 December, 2019 had a capital adequacy ratio of 32.9%.

Samaila Zubairu, President & Chief Executive Officer of AFC, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed economic disruption across the world, including Africa. With the health and economic crises still unfolding, great uncertainty remains on the duration and impact of the virus outbreak. While addressing the COVID-19 pandemic must be the global priority, the virus will be defeated and when it is, Africa is positioned for transformational and beneficial change. The continent’s vast natural resources, ripe opportunities for industrialisation, diversification and value-add processing, growing and predominantly young population, rising demand and the expected boost to intra-African trade are all factors that make Africa’s economic growth prospects highly attractive. Delivering first-world infrastructure projects is also needed to unlock the potential and that is where AFC will be adding both value and impact by making infrastructure projects bankable and facilitating the financing.”

We note that Moody’s expects the Corporation as an A3 rated institution to sustain its strong liquidity buffers thanks to AFC’s significant existing buffers available at the start of the crisis, adherence to its liquidity policy, in addition to the Corporation’s stable and diverse sources of funding over the medium term. AFC’s liquidity policy stipulates that the Corporation must retain liquidity buffers covering 18 months of net cash outflows. Currently, the Corporation’s liquidity buffer stands at 23 months cover.

AFC’s ongoing capital raising exercise, which commenced prior to the COVID-19 crisis, has received strong support, with new capital injections already in place from the African Development Bank, the Government of Gabon and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, despite the challenging economic environment in 2019. This ongoing process is creating sufficient capacity for the Corporation to continue to adhere to its internal policy of a minimum CAR of 30%, whilst funding its strategic growth targets over the medium and long term.

AFC is Africa’s most important infrastructure, industrial and natural resources development and financing institution, and is steadfast in its commitment to provide the innovative and risk-mitigated solutions needed for Africa’s policy makers as well as its young and vibrant population.

Our approach will remain conservative and innovative, with a beneficiation-based, ecosystem-focused development strategy, which will continue to create sustainable, value-accretive and employment generating economic growth, supported by quality infrastructure.

The support we continue to receive from our investors, member countries and development partners demonstrates that our mission of financing and facilitating Africa’s infrastructure needs aligns with a shared vision for an industrialised and prosperous Africa, where commercial returns can be achieved for global capital channeled through credible African institutions such as the AFC.

AFC’s Resilience
Africa Finance Corporation is a prudent and resilient multilateral financial institution, guided by conservative financial policies, and this is reflected in our A3 credit rating. The expansion of our portfolio in recent years — reflecting the pursuit of our mandate — is underpinned by strong risk-management practices coupled with rigorous and continuous portfolio monitoring and proactive management. We have a stable and diversified funding base, strong market access and a solid track record of debt repayment, which is supported by our conservative liquidity policy. AFC’s shareholder base has also been diversified.

The Corporation entered this period of global economic stress with robust capital and liquidity buffers, as well as strong prospects for replenishing these further, despite the current environment. As an investment grade and frequent issuer in the bond and loan markets, AFC is well positioned to raise additional capital despite the current market conditions.

AFC’s Financial Strength Capital
AFC adheres to a very conservative capital policy, with a Capital Adequacy ratio (CAR) floor of 30% which has never been breached since the Corporation’s inception.
The capital position remains strong, with fully paid in capital and retained earnings of US$1.7 billion (YE2019) and a CAR of 32.9% (YE2019), which is above the minimum capital adequacy ratio limit
Continued capital growth is driven by a strong internal capital generation capacity as reflected in a Return-on-Assets of 3.5% (YE2019) and new equity injections. AFC also changed its historical dividend policy in YE2019 to retain more profits.
In the context of our 5-year growth strategy, AFC embarked on an equity raise programme in Q4 2019 aimed at diversifying and increasing the average credit quality of our shareholder composition. The target increase was US$1bn by 2023, of which US$110m had already been raised by the end of Q1 2020. In a baseline case scenario, we expect additional equity injections during 2020 which would potentially raise our CAR to 35.1%, and in an optimistic scenario, the Corporation could raise its CAR to 38.3%.

Liquidity
AFC has one of the highest liquidity positions amongst our Moody’s peer group. Liquidity Coverage was at 25 months at YE2019. AFC’s projected months of liquidity coverage for 2020 is 23 months and around the same in 2021.
AFC’s Moody’s ALR (available liquid resource ratio) is on the high end of the rating scale. It was 130% cover of the next 18 months of net cash flows at YE2019, above the Moody’s “aa” threshold of 120%. It is our current expectation that ALR will remain at 130% at YE2020, well above Moody’s “aa” threshold of 120%.

Asset Quality
AFC’s starting asset quality (0.9% NPL ratio at YE2019) is far better than most of its Moody’s rated peers. Like other MDBs and financial institutions across the rating and geographical spectrum, AFC faces risks to asset performance from the deterioration in global economic conditions. Since mid-March — when the COVID-19 outbreak triggered a global economic slowdown and a collapse in crude oil prices — we have stepped up the monitoring of our portfolio, proactively engaging every single name in our portfolio, in order to anticipate any repayment difficulties that they might face. Our ongoing and proactive analysis concludes that the Corporation would be able to absorb any potential losses, while maintaining capital adequacy ratios within our prudential guidelines.

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Mr. Batchi Baldeh

Mr. Batchi Baldeh is an investment banker, infrastructure developer and utility management specialist, with over 33 years’ professional experience across the power value chain and financing capital structure. He is currently the Director, Power Systems Development, at the African Development Bank, which he joined in 2017, and is also responsible for managing its private sector energy loan portfolio.

Prior to joining AfDB, he was Director, Power Business, Investments Division, at the Africa Finance Corporation. He has also been a consultant to the World Bank, European Union/BizClim and Government of Lesotho, and was pioneer Managing Director of Gambia’s National Water and Electricity Company. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Development Bank of Nigeria and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cabeolica S.A. and Cenpower Operations and Services Limited.

He was an Alternate Director and Technical Committee member of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company. Mr. Baldeh holds a BSc Honours in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, UK. He is a member of the Institute of Engineering & Technology, UK, and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors

Ms Nana Eshun – Director & General Counsel

Nana Eshun is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Corporation with oversight responsibility for Legal and Corporate Secretarial functions. Ms. Eshun is a finance lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in the legal profession and specialist expertise in infrastructure financing across Africa and internationally.

Nana’s experience includes representing AFC as a project developer and financier of various corporate transactions covering: project finance, debt and equity investments, public private partnerships in key infrastructure sectors of natural resources (oil & gas and mining), power, transport, heavy industry and telecommunications as well as corporate borrowings and investment funds.

Prior to joining AFC in 2008, Nana worked for the African Development Bank (AfDB) where she led on the legal aspects of financing of projects covering infrastructure and for economic development. She also represented the Ministry of Finance/Government of Ghana as lead finance lawyer primarily on the West African Gas Pipeline Project. Before that, she worked as a solicitor with City commercial law firms in the United Kingdom – Denton Wilde Sapte Solicitors and Eversheds Solicitors on private finance initiative projects.

Nana Eshun is dual qualified as a Barrister-at-Law, Ghana (1987) and Solicitor, England and Wales (1994). She holds a BA (Law & Sociology) from the University of Ghana, BL (Barristers Law Practicing Certificate) from the Ghana School of Law, Law Society Finals (UK Solicitors Qualifying Course) from the College of Law, Guildford (UK) and an LLM (International Business Law) from the University of London.
 

 

 

 

Mr. Roosevelt Ogbonna

Roosevelt Ogbonna is Group Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank PLC and has over 20 years’ experience in banking across treasury, commercial, corporate and investment banking.

Prior to his appointment, he was the Executive Director, Wholesale Banking Division of Access Bank PLC. He is on the Boards of several institutions including Access Bank UK Limited, Access Bank (Zambia) Ltd and Central Securities Clearing System PLC. In 2015, he was selected as one of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Future Global Leaders.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, a Senior Executive Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School, an alumnus of Harvard Business School and a CFA charter holder.

He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from IMD Business School, and Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration.

 

Mr. Ahmad Abdullahi

Ahmad Abdullahi is Interim Chairman of the Board Audit and Compliance Committee. He was Director and Head of Banking Supervision Department at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) until February 2020.

He joined CBN as a manager and rose to Director. At CBN he oversaw Retail Banking Services at three CBN branches prior to other senior roles in CBN’s Banking Supervision Department. He was promoted to Director Governor’s Department in 2012 and then to Director of Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department in 2014.

Previously he was a Lecturer at Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria, and is a member of the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and a certified Compliance & Ethics Professional.

He holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Master’s degree in Banking

 

Ayotunde Anjorin

Ayotunde Anjorin is a Director and the Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation. Prior to this, he was AFC's Senior Vice President and Head of Finance & Operations with strategic leadership responsibilities for all finance-related activities comprising banking operations, financial reporting and control, product control and settlement. Mr. Anjorin joined the Corporation as the Vice President and Financial Controller. Prior to AFC, He worked at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, where he held many positions within the Finance group and Internal Audit at national and regional levels. He was the regional Head of Wholesale Banking Finance at Standard Chartered Bank responsible for managing wholesale banking finance activities across West Africa. He has also worked as a consultant for KPMG.

Mr. Anjorin holds a BSc in Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Ayotunde is a chartered accountant with more than 15 years post qualification experience encompassing financial accounting, reporting and control, management accounting, financial risk management, process re-engineering and reviews. He has also attended Executive Management programmes at Harvard Business School, USA, IMD Business School, Switzerland and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA.

David Johnson

David Johnson is the Corporation's Director and Chief Risk Officer. Until his appointment, Mr. Johnson was the Senior Vice President, Market Risk Management. Prior to joining AFC, he spent fifteen years working as a Risk Manager, Trader and Structurer at various international banks including Stanbic IBTC Bank, where he was Regional Head of Market Risk for West Africa, and Risk Manager for the Credit Derivatives Group at WestLB AG (Westdeutsche Landesbank, London) and the Asset Backed Commercial Paper (ABCP) conduit at Abbey National Treasury Services.

He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, MSc in Computing, MSc in Mathematical Trading and Finance from the City University, London, UK.

Anthony Arabome, Director, Corporate Services

Mr. Anthony Arabome is currently Director, Corporate Services Division with oversight responsibility for Human Resources, Administration, Information Technology and Procurement Functions whilst doubling as the Corporation’s Human Resources Director. He has 35 years’ experience, at both technical and management levels, in Human Resource Management and General Management, across the Oil & Gas and Financial Services sectors, having worked for leading global institutions throughout his career.

Prior to joining the Corporation in 2009, he was HR Director of Shell International’s Nigeria Exploration & Production Company (SNEPCo) and concurrently, the Regional Talent Manager for Shell E&P Africa. He was also on the Board of SNEPCo.

Mr. Arabome is a distinguished Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria and one of the Institute’s Past Presidents. He is also an esteemed member of the international Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM). He is an alumnus of several Executive Education programmes in HRM, Leadership, Strategy, Execution and Business Management, of the University of Michigan USA, IMD Switzerland, Cornell University USA, INSEAD USA and London Business School, UK. He holds an honours BSc degree in Economics from the University of Ife, Nigeria and an MSc degree in Human Resource Management from the University of London, UK.

 

 

 

Samaila Zubairu

President/Chief Executive Officer

Samaila Zubairu is AFC’s 3rd President and Chief Executive Officer. With over 30 years’ of professional experience, his entrepreneurial leadership propelled the development and implementation of a new five-year corporate strategy, which, at its core, addressesthe urgent mandate of developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets on the continent. Key pillars of the strategy include enhancing the capacity of the team and entrenching a High-Performance Culture; coherent ecosystem strategy for value accretive beneficiation and import substitution; proactive risk and portfolio management to improve AFC’s rating and diversifying the Corporation’s funding sources.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Zubairu was the CEO of Africapital Management Limited, where he established a joint venture with Old Mutual’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers, to develop the Nigerian Infrastructure Investment Fund for infrastructure private equity across West Africa.

As Chief Financial Officer for Dangote Cement Plc, he launched Africa’s largest syndicated project finance facility for the Obajana Cement project and managed the unbundling of Dangote Industries Limited to listed subsidiaries on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Prior to that, he was the Treasurer for the Dangote Group during its transformation from a trading company to an industrial conglomerate.

Mr. Zubairu is an Eisenhower Fellow and the first African appointed to the Board of Trustees of the 67-year old international leadership exchange programme. He holds several Non-Executive Board positions.

He holds a BSc in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Nigeria (FCA).

 

 

Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan

Patrick Akinwuntan is Managing Director and Regional Executive at Ecobank Nigeria, prior to which he was Group Executive of Ecobank’s Consumer Bank, leading the business across 33 countries in Africa.

Under his leadership, Ecobank has launched several digital innovations that are revolutionising banking, creating an unrivalled payments ecosystem through Ecobank’s unified Mobile app, EcobankPay Merchant QR, Xpress Account, Xpress Cash (enabling card-less ATM withdrawals), Pan-African Card and Rapidtransfer, which enables cross-border remittances across 33 African countries in 18 currencies.

His previous roles at Ecobank included Group Executive Director Domestic Bank, Group Executive Director, Operations, Technology, Transaction and Retail Banking and Managing Director of eProcess International. He has an MBA in Finance from Obafemi Awolowo University, is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School executive programme.

Mr. Henry Oroh

Henry Oroh is an Executive Director at Zenith Bank International Plc. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Managing Director & CEO of Zenith Bank Ghana. He began his banking career in 1992 at Citibank, where he served for seven years in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.

Mr. Oroh has almost two decades of experience in the banking industry. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, Edo State. He is a Chartered Accountant and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Nigeria.

He holds an LLB from the University of London and an MBA from Lagos State University.

 

Dr. Kingsley Obiora

Dr. Obiora is Deputy Governor (Economic Policy) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Prior to this, he was an Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, USA, where he was a member of the Executive Board responsible for conducting the daily operations of the IMF and assisted representation of 23 African countries at the Board.

He joined the IMF in 2007, working in the European Department and the Strategy, Policy and Review.

Department, focusing on exchange rate assessment, debt sustainability analyses, decoupling and spillovers, real sector analyses, and several reviews of Financial Sector Assessments. He also worked at the West African Monetary Institute and the Centre for Econometric and Allied Research at the University of Ibadan.

He was Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the Governor of the CBN for four years until 2018, with his extensive international and national economic experience helping the Bank understand and deal with the external shocks emanating from the drop in oil prices. He was Technical Adviser to Nigeria’s National Economic Management Team and Special Assistant to President Jonathan’s Chief Economic Adviser, playing key roles in shaping the country’s economic policies on several fronts, including energy subsidies, power sector reform, measurement of job creation, architecture of development financing, regulatory framework for doing business and asset-based economic mapping and modeling.

He has a degree from the University of Benin and Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Economics from the University of Ibadan.

 

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan

Dr. Adeduntan is CEO of FirstBank Group, where he was previously Executive Director and Group CFO. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

His previous roles included Director and pioneer CFO/ Business Manager of Africa Finance Corporation; Senior Vice-President and CFO at Citibank Nigeria; Senior Manager in the Financial Services Group of KPMG Professional Services; and a Manager at Arthur Andersen Nigeria. He is on the Boards of FBN Holdings Plc, FBNBank UK, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System PLC (NIBSS), Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities Ltd (SANEF) and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG).

He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan and is a member of Sigma Educational Foundation which focuses on enhancing the quality of Nigeria’s tertiary education system. He has an MBA from Cranfield University Business School, UK, which he attended as a Chevening Scholar.

 

Mr. Victor Osadolor

Victor Osadolor has been Deputy Group ManagingDirector, United Bank for Africa Plc Group and ManagingDirector of UBA Africa, a Director of UBA Capital Europeand Chairman of UBA Pensions Custodians Limited. Previously he was Group Director of Heirs Holdings(HH) Limited, Chief Operating Officer for Corporate and Investment Banking and Chief Strategist for Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

His other roles at various UBA subsidiaries have includedManaging Director, Deputy Managing Director, ExecutiveDirector – Risk & Finance and Group Chief Finance Officer. He has also held senior roles at Standard Trust Bank,CTB, Ecobank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank andCoopers & Lybrand.

He holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours inAccounting from the University of Benin, is a Fellow ofthe Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN),an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme and an honorary life memberof the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Mr. Osadolor’s career spans over 28 years. Prior to joining Ecobank Transnational Incorporated , he served as Managing Director - UBA-Capital; and other senior appointment at UBA., Standard Trust Bank; Deputy Managing Director, Continental Trust Bank; Chief Finance Officer, Ecobank Nigeria; Chief Finance Officer,Guaranty Trust Bank; and Auditor, Coopers & Lybrand now (PriceWaterhouseCoopers).

Soula I. Proxenos

Soula I. Proxenos was appointed as an Independent Director of the Corporation during the year. She has over 30 years’ financial services experience and has a deep understanding of capital markets, fundraising, brandbuilding and real estate. She is an adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She is an Independent Non-Executive Director, consultant and adviser of several organisations and has extensive experience as Board chair, committee chair (nominations, and compensation committees), committee member (audit and credit) of not-for-profit and commercial Board of Directors.

Ms. Proxenos was formerly Managing Director of International Housing Solutions. She founded South African Workforce Housing Fund, developed its concept and was responsible for staffing, raising capital, strategy and government relations. She was also cochair of the investment committee and remains on the group’s advisory Board.

Prior to this, she was Managing Director of Fannie Mae’s International Housing Financial Services. She had responsibility for the P+L of Fannie Mae’s international consulting services and training programmes, assisting in the development of marketbased housing finance systems in over 35 countries. She holds a BA from Wits University and an MBA from University of Stellenbosch.

 

Mr Emeka Emuwa

Emeka Emuwa is Chairman of the Board Risk and Investment Committee and a Non-Executive Director of the Corporation. He is the Group Managing Director and CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria, which he joined in 2012 to lead its transformation following its recapitalisation by Union Global Partners.

An accomplished banker with 30 years’ experience across Africa, he previously had a distinguished 25-year career with Citibank, where, following senior roles in seven African countries, he became the first Nigerian to be appointed Country Officer and Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria.

Mr. Emuwa is the Chairman of the Financial Literacy and Public Enlightenment sub-committee of the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee; the Nigeria Portugal Friendship and Business Association; and former Chairman of Junior Achievement Nigeria.

Mr. Emuwa graduated from the University of Lagos with a degree in Finance and holds an MSc. in Management from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management

 

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

Sanjeev Gupta is AFC’s Executive Director and Head of the Financial Services Division, responsible for treasury, trade finance & syndications, country relations and the corporate advisory lines of business within AFC.

Mr. Gupta has over 25 years’ experience in Investment Management, private equity and corporate advisory services. Mr. Gupta’s forte is blending together global and indigenous corporates, financial investors and governments to develop commercially viable business and development models that leave a sustainable impact on emerging market economies.

Prior to joining AFC, Mr. Gupta was the Managing Partner of Emerging Markets M&A Center of Excellence at Ernst Young (EY). He was also the Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Investment Management Emerging Markets operations and a Founder and erstwhile Managing Partner of Emerging Opportunity Consulting, a boutique advisory firm specialising in SME financing. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Calcutta, India, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (FCA). He is an alumnus of the Said Business School, University of Oxford, UK.

 

Mr. Oliver Andrews

Oliver Andrews is AFC’s Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer, leading the origination, technical/industry and project development teams, and is a member of the Executive Committee. He is an entrepreneurial engineer and transport economist with an extensive background in engineering, transport and project finance. Mr. Andrews has over 30 years’ experience in the various infrastructure sectors and 20 years as an infrastructure project developer, financier and strategic adviser.

He was the Project Director for Cenpower, leading a multidisciplinary project team that successfully achieved financial close for a US$900 million landmark project in Ghana, which won the 2014 Africa power deal of the year.

Mr. Andrews is a former CEO of TCI Infrastructure Limited and the Gambia Ports Authority, with extensive international experience in infrastructure development and financing, both from a public and private sector perspective, within and outside the African continent. He has successfully directed numerous infrastructure deals in Africa, leading project development teams and providing strategic, policy, programme and commercial advice on infrastructure development issues to development financial institutions, international bluechip corporations, as well as to African and European governments.

He is the Non-Executive Director of several companies and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Africa Centre, a UK registered charitable organisation promoting Africa’s cultural diversity. He holds an MBA from the University of Wales, is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer, a Chartered Marketer and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics.