Addis Ababa, November 20, 2023- Dashen Bank has joined the SME finance Forum as the global membership network’s latest member.
“SME Finance Forum is delighted to welcome Dashen Bank, a leading bank in Ethiopia and Africa, into our network. I am confident they will further contribute towards our decade-long efforts in expanding access to financial services for SMEs. We have been building a global network of SME-focused institutions imparting knowledge, scaling innovations, sharing best practices and influencing policy shifts, and we are proud to welcome Dashen Bank today,” said Qamar Saleem, CEO of the SME Finance Forum.
“Through our association with the SME Finance Forum, Dashen Bank aims to boost our brand recognition in the SME finance circle, connect with a broader audience, engage with other members, and stay aware of current industry trends and best practices,” said Mr. Mulugeta Alebachew, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Dashen Bank.
Dashen Bank was founded in 1995 and is named after the highest peak in Ethiopia, Mount Dashen, and aspires to be “Best in class Bank in Africa.” Its mission is to provide customer-centric banking service using the expertise of inspired professionals and cutting-edge technology while creating sustainable value for its stakeholders.
(Addis Ababa, Oct. 26, 2023); Shareholders of Dashen Bank, one of the pioneering private Banks in Ethiopia, have met at Sky Light Hotel for the 30th ordinary annual meeting that discussed the Bank’s last fiscal year performance and achievements and issues of focus during this fiscal year.
Addressing the gathering, Board Chairman of the Bank, Dula Mekonnen indicated that the last fiscal year was marked with multifaceted global and domestic occurrences that gave rise to both challenges and opportunities to the bank industry. With its multidimensional ramifications, the Russia – Ukraine war was the most critical one in disrupting the supply chain coupled with China’s Zero-COVID Policy that dampened global output and trade and drove global inflation. The recent reopening of China and the easing of energy prices due to mild winter in Europe points to a near-term positive growth prospect in the largest economies and are expected to bring improvements in commodity prices and inflation.
The board Chairman stated that domestically, the last fiscal year has witnessed socio-political instability and macroeconomic imbalances. On top of the pressure from the global macro environment, economic growth continues to be challenged by chronic forex shortage, unabated and high inflation, unemployment, and growing budget deficit and external debt. In the meantime, the government has implemented and is pursuing various fiscal and monetary policies. Among others, the establishment of a capital market, broadening the tax base, forex liberalization, FCY retention, treasury bond purchase, etc. are worth noting.
Dula noted that the banking sector has also witnessed a number of directives (both new and amendment to existing ones), the entry of new banks and non-bank financial institutions into the scene further heightening competition. The directives directly and indirectly affect the banks’ resource availability, operational and compliance costs, and profitability.
He also added that the reinstatement of the DBE Treasury bond requirement has a significant impact on banks’ credit deployment and earnings.
He also underscored that the evolving digital ecosystem and the enabling environment have encouraged and increased the presence of non-bank players in the banking sector, which was dominated by banks for a long time. In a bid to preserve their market share and remain relevant, banks are strengthening their digital capabilities and offerings through partnerships to catch up with the evolving trend and capture the digital ecosystem opportunity.
Dula said, amid the challenging environment, Dashen Bank has achieved a commendable performance during 2022/23 fiscal year. During the last fiscal year, Dashen has managed to mobilize incremental deposits of Birr 23.6 billion and increased the aggregate positional balance to Birr 114.8 billion, which is a 25.9% growth compared to last year same period.
The Board Chairman also added that Total assets of the Bank has surged to Birr 144.6 billion, registering a 24.7% growth. Owners’ equity also went up to Birr 19.3 billion attaining 34.3% growth relative to last year. Half of the growth came from paid-up capital, which increased by Birr 2.5 Billion or 36.2% compared to last year. The Bank amassed total income of birr 18 billion in the fiscal year. As a result, Dashen was able to earn a profit before tax of Birr 5 Billion registering a 31.9% growth over last year’s same period.
Dula noted that with the conclusion of the 5-year strategy plan that covered from 2018/19FY to 2022/23FY, the Bank has embarked on an exciting new phase. In partnership with McKinsey & Co., the Bank has been crafting a 5-year corporate strategy that sets the course for its future growth.
The strategy will be instrumental in driving innovation, enhancing customer experiences, and achieving sustainable broad-based growth in the evolving financial landscape, he added.
CEO of the Bank, Asfaw Alemu, on his part said that in terms of operational performance, the bank’s channels expansion, customer attraction, resource mobilization and deployment have recorded positive growth over last year same period.
Asfaw noted that during the concluded fiscal year, the Bank had opened 253 additional branches at various locations bringing itself one-step closer to its customers.
He stated that the much anticipated opening up of the Ethiopian banking sector and establishment of the Capital Market in the near future are expected to be a new frontier to deal with timely and smartly.
With a customer base of 5.2 plus million, Dashen shall continue to place utmost importance on understanding and addressing the evolving needs of its customers. Through 835 branch networks, 388 ATMs and other digital platforms, the Bank shall strive to deliver best-in-class banking services tailored to its customers’ needs, he said.
Asfaw noted also that after successfully undergoing a detailed due diligence process, Dashen Bank has secured a foreign loan to the tune of USD 40 million on a joint commitment from UK’s British International Investment (BII) and Dutch FMO making the Bank the first financial institution in Ethiopia to obtain long-term funding from DFIs’ under the Foreign Currency Intermediation Directive for Banks. The funding will be instrumental to boost the Country’s agricultural export.
The CEO also added that, as a responsible corporate citizen, Dashen Bank goes beyond its role in the financial sector and strives to empower and create positive impact on the community. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, the Bank in partnership with MIDROC Ethiopia, has established feeding centers in Lideta and Lemi Kura Sub cities and provided financial support to various noble causes. In 2023, Dashen Bank has invested close to Birr 285 million in various social initiatives.
Dashen Inked USD 40 Million Financing with BII & FMO
Dashen Bank and its European financiers, British International Investment (BII) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, concluded the financing agreement for the USD 40 million fund announced in late August 2023.
The agreement is concluded today on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings being held at the Marrakech, Morocco, in the presence of H.E. Andrew Mitchell, UK’s Minister of State of Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO); H.E. Mamo Mihretu, Governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia; Dulla Mekonnen, Chairperson of Dashen Bank; Michael Jongeneel, CEO of FMO ; Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of BII; and Asfaw Alemu, CEO of Dashen Bank.
The fund, which is the first of its kind after the introduction of the Foreign Currency Intermediation Directive by NBE, will be made available to Ethiopian agribussinesses engaged in the export sector.
Apart from the medium term financing, Dashen Bank will also benefit from technical assistance of the European financiers in the areas of governance, risk, environment and sustainability practices.