NDB can create wealth, says Lamur

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday 3rd January 2012

THE National Development Bank is expected to become a key institution in generating growth and prosperity in the rural communities and among small-to-medium businesses in Papua New Guinea.
The bank was on track to declare a profit of more than K6 million last year – the highest annual profit in any one year since the NDB was created in 1967 under the former Deve­lopment Bank and later Agriculture Bank.
Its recent success was attributed to the appointment of an “a-political board of directors” headed by William Lamur as chairman and Richard Maru as managing director.
Their combined efforts “proved to the government and the people of PNG that NDB had been wasted over the years and mismanaged for political expediency and was not delivering results”.
Lamur said of the bank’s performance last year: “We have recorded a pretax profit of K5.1 million compared to our K2 million profit target for 2011.”
On current performance, Lamur said NDB was on track to report a profit of more than K6 million, “our highest annual profit in any one year since NDB was established in 1967”.
“Our net assets have grown to a record K213 million
“We have lent K41 million to date and on track to lend over K50 million in 2011. This will be our highest lending in any one year since 1967.
“NDB has arrears over 90 days of less than 0.5% today. This is a super result considering when my board and management took over NDB in June 2004, arrears beyond 90 days were above 70%. Today we have a very quality loan book.
“Our good loan book has now finally reached more than K100 million resulting in NDB for the first time generating enough income to cover all its operating costs and being able to deliver an operating profit following our insolvency days in 2004, when the current board and management took over leadership and management of NDB,” Lamur said.
One of the successful activities of the bank was its lending portfolio to women in business, Lamur said.
By late December, NDB was heading for the K10 million mark on lending to businesswo­men – again the highest it ever lent to women since inception.
“We now have 50 women commercial banking clients for the first time in our history when you consider that there were only eight at the end of 2010 and the number is growing following the drive under our Women in Business Strategy,” Lamur said.
He said the bank successfully completed its rehabilitation in 2009.
Lamur said with the solid record-breaking performance last year, NDB was poised to be used by the government as the “wealth creation” vehicle.
That is “if it (government) is serious about empowering our citizens to generate wealth from the vast opportunities the economic boom is now going to provide for our country”, he said.