WINDHOEK, 02 APR – The Bank of Namibia (BoN) declared a dividend of N.dollars 213.1 million to the State for the 2017/18 financial year.
A dividend of N.dollars 68.1 million was declared to the State for the 2016/17 financial year.
Presenting the reserve bank’s 2017 Annual Report here last week, BoN Governor Iipumbu Shiimi said the bank prudently managed its operational spending and thus had an increase in its dividends for 2017.
The financial performance of the bank showed an improvement in 2017 compared to 2016 due to an increase in the bank’s reserve balances and increased interest rates in capital markets BoN invests in.
BoN’s non-interest earnings also increased due to the unwinding of the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) receivables.
Shiimi indicated that global economic growth improved in 2017 by 3,7 per cent, up from 3,2 per cent in 2016.
He attributed the growth to improved global demand and conducive financial conditions in both Advanced Economies, and Emerging Markets and Developing Economies.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s economic growth was estimated to have contracted in 2017 compared to 2016, driven mostly by declines in construction, wholesale and retail trade and the public sector.
Other sectors such as manufacturing, electricity, water, transport and communication also slowed down, while mining and agriculture sectors maintained a positive momentum.
Government’s overall deficit is estimated to have improved mainly on account of higher Southern African Customs Union (SACU) receipts and additional revenue collection.
Shiimi indicated that Namibia’s current account deficit narrowed significantly, largely supported by a contraction in the import bill and higher SACU receipts during 2017.
The current account recorded a deficit of N.dollars 3.9 billion in 2017, down from N.dollars 23 billion in 2016 mainly due to a steep decrease in the import bill and increased SACU receipts.
Total Government debt however increased by 42,3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in the last financial year.
Deputy Minister of Finance, Natangwe Ithete accepted the dividend cheque on behalf of the State.