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Access Financial grows asset base by $1.5 billion

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

ACCESS Financial Services Limited (AFS) has recorded growth in its asset base of $1.5 billion or 41 per cent to $4.99 billion, partly attributable to the acquisition of Florida-based microlender Embassy Loans Inc.

On December 15, 2018, AFS completed the acquisition of Embassy Loans Inc at a cost of US$6.4 million, in keeping with its long-term strategy to diversify the company's operations and revenue streams.

The transaction was funded from the proceeds of a $900-million global bond which was issued by the microfinance institution in October 2018.

For the period ending December 31, 2018, AFS raked in net profit of $584 million, a $79-million increase over the comparative period in 2017. The results, however, only included 15 days of Embassy Loans' operation under AFS.

“The acquisition is currently being reviewed by our auditors, additional details of the transactions will be included in our next quarterly release,” Chief Executive Officer Marcus James said.

The rest of the growth in the company's asset base came from improvements in its loan portfolio which grew by $1.1 billion or 38 per cent for the December quarter; moving to $4.0 billion from $2.87 billion for the corresponding 2017 period.

AFS net operating income for the December period amounted to $1.3 billion, led by interest income from loans disbursed by the company which increased by $202 million or 20 per cent to $1.2 billion.

However, the microfinance institution's net fees and commission for the period was slashed by 48.9 per cent to $138 million.

The microfinance institution managed to contain operating expenses, down 3 per cent or $23 million when compared to the corresponding period ended December 2018, resulting from reduced allowances for credit loss.

Cash and cash equivalents of the company dipped to $407 million from $433 million in 2017.

— KARENA BENNETT