DEVELOPMENT BANK OF NAMIBIA
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) provides finance for locally registered entities that contribute materially to Namibia’s development through enterprises and infrastructure. Locally registered entities that qualify for finance may include offshoots of international organisations that satisfy local shareholding requirements.
The Bank is widely regarded as a leading Namibian financial institution, by virtue of its association with complex projects and excellent enterprises, its financial capacity, its track record of excellent governance and risk management, and robust due diligence.
SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES
The Bank’s Board of Directors is composed of independent business leaders, private sector financiers and institutional experts who provide a balanced, collective view that fosters commercial motives and development requirements. This approach ensures that customers, stakeholders and beneficiaries of development, prosper through DBN finance.
In addition to employment creation, the Bank seeks to nurture economic activity in Namibia’s regions, provide the stimulus for sectoral activity, promote inclusive ownership, add value to Namibian resources, and provide financial backing for large infrastructural projects in public-private partnerships, privately owned utilities, as well as on regional and local levels.
The Bank has been instrumental in financing deals for mining, the fishing industry, manufacturing, tourism, transport and logistics, and social enterprises such as private schools and medical facilities. DBN does not provide direct finance for agriculture, but does provide finance for industries that transform agriculture, particularly food manufacturing and processing.
Since its inception in 2004, DBN has grown its financial capacity through a policy of reinvesting profits in sustainable lending. The Bank was initially capitalized by its shareholder, the Ministry of Finance, representing the Government of Namibia, but due to its sound governance, and financial expertise, it has successfully issued a medium-term debut bond on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX), and will continue to raise capital from private sector sources.
Subject to the approval of its Board, and its rules, the Bank may also make finance available through credit lines and credit availability from local commercial banks, and the African Development Bank (AfDB). For projects of national importance, the Bank may engage in syndicate finance.
GOVERNANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
The Bank is a highly governanced entity that adheres to IFRS and the Namibian equivalent, Namcode. The Board is governed by a set of Board rules.
Through an enterprise-wide risk management system, the Bank ensures that various internal and external risks are managed. The Bank’s fundamental philosophy in regard to risk management is that sound management of risk enables it to absorb more risk.
In addition to enhancing its enterprise-wide risk management framework, the Bank has implemented an environmental and social risk management system to ensure that its investments preserve the environment and social health of Namibian society.
ROBUST DUE DILIGENCE
To preserve its capital, as well as to ensure that borrowers are not exposed to undue risk and / or that risk can be mitigated, the Bank engages in a robust process of due diligence on all applications. In addition to examination of the merits of the business plan, cash flow projections, and skills and qualifications of managers, the Bank considers credit and risk aspects as well.
Applications are scrutinized by three committees – Lending, Credit and Risk – before submission to the Board for final approval.