Exclusive Interview with Admassu Tadesse, Honorary Chairman and Managing Director of TDB Group Bank

Admassu Tadesse.

Dans un entretien exclusif accordé à Kapital Afril et Financial Afrik, le banquier éthiopien Admassu Tadesse, président émérite et directeur général de la banque TDB Group revient sur les mutations stratégiques et les nouvelles orientations géographiques de l'institution.  L'ex PTA Group a bien mûri, approfondissant ses implantations dans la COMESA, se développant dans l'EAC et la SADC avec un appétit grandissant pour l'Afrique de l'Ouest, notamment le Ghana, le Sénégal et la Mauritanie. 

“Our role is to support the African economy.”

Admassu Tadesse is Honorary Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Trade Development Banks Group (TDB Group, formerly PTA Bank), a specialized development finance institution that provides services in East Africa and Southern Africa and beyond. In this exclusive interview, “Africa’s Best Development Banker,” who was honored at the previous Financial Afrik Awards, looks back at the highlights of his institution and discusses the outlook for 2022.

2021 was a busy year for TDB. How has your portfolio evolved?

Our portfolio has grown strongly over the years in terms of total balance sheet and sales and is very strong. Of course, during the pandemic, we experienced a slight slowdown for obvious reasons. But during this time, we have strengthened our roots in traditional markets. We have also successfully expanded our portfolio into new markets such as Mozambique, South Sudan and Madagascar. Our strategy is to ensure a good rate of return on investment for our shareholders while having a positive impact on the people and countries we serve. Among other sectors, TDB is improving its supply chain by participating in financing various infrastructure projects such as transportation, energy and telecommunications, especially fiber optic cables, railroads and infrastructure. We do business in several sectors and in some countries.

Since the company name was changed in 2017, TDB’s shareholding has increased. Please give us an overview of your property by December 2021.

Indeed, underpinned by significant reforms, we have completed certain changes over the last few years in terms of capital structure and market presence. Initially, we were limited to COMESA member countries. But now we go beyond the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to cover the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), at the western ends of the continent, especially Senegal, Ghana and Mauritania. We serve sovereign financial institutions and corporate clients with a portfolio of trade and project finance products and services. At this point, the audit results have not yet been published, so we can’t say much about the financial situation in 2021. To be on the safe side, the Bank for Trade and Development (TDB) includes 22 member countries of COMESA, EAC, IGAD and SADC, two non-regional member countries, as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). , Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa-Re) Insurance, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Banco Nacional de Investimento (BNI, Mozambique), National Social Security Fund (CNSS, Djibouti), Eagle Insurance (Mauritius), under development National Investment Fund (IFU, Denmark), National Pension Fund (NPF, Mauritius), National Social Security Fund (NSSF, Uganda), OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund), PTA Reinsurance Company (ZEP-RE), Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), Sacos Insurance Group (Seychelles), Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF).

COVID-19 affects many countries and institutions. How did this pandemic affect the quality of your portfolio?

First of all, as I said earlier, growth was a little slower than usual. Second, in terms of portfolios, non-performing loans have increased slightly, but are below 3%. The worst is now behind us.

What is the risk profile in the international and regional loan markets?

TDB has been evaluated by Moody’s, Fitch and GCR. It has been rated as investment eligible since 2017 by Moody’s and GCR. Our rating has been confirmed throughout the pandemic, and our outlook has recently been positively upgraded by GCR and Fitch and is stable by Moody’s.

What are your thoughts on Africa’s finance and East and South Africa’s finance in general in the face of high political, health and climate risks?

We are facing a variety of significant changes, including climate change, regional integration, including ZLECAf, energy shifts, cataclysms due to the emergence of artificial intelligence as a key component of economic growth, and significant population growth. I’m in the world. There are some megatrends and a lot of economic pressure that our economy is facing. For financial institutions like TDB, the question is how to help countries tackle these challenges, overcome them, and adapt to new and changing realities. There are financial system health issues that are often raised in the context of increased risk. Next, our question is how to use resources more effectively to help African countries respond to and overcome shocks and challenges while unleashing opportunities with climate change urgent challenges and the SDGs. Revolve around.