ANSA Merchant Bank suffered consolidated losses before taxes of $39.8 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022.
In the company’s financial report for the quarter, Chairman A Norman Sabga explained the operating results of the ANSA Merchant Bank Group for the first quarter “were affected by non-cash mark to market losses seen in our global investment portfolios, given the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine, widespread fears of inflation and rising interest rates.”
In the previous year, ANSA Merchant Bank had recorded $61.4 million in profit before tax for the same period.
Sabga, however, noted there were some positives.
He said, “Total Assets, however, grew by 2 per cent to $9.60 billion in Quarter 1 2022 versus $9.38 billion in the same period last year. While all major investment asset classes experienced downward price pressure, we are long term investors, and we expect that these investment valuations will recover over time when the markets normalise. Our core businesses remain in a position of strength, as a result of our solid and growing customer base, a robust balance sheet and healthy capital base.”
He pointed out the group’s Banking Segment comprising ANSA Merchant Bank, ANSA Merchant Bank (Barbados), and our Commercial Bank, ANSA Bank were headed in the right direction as “all produced new business growth and if we exclude the impact of investments, our core profits in this segment grew by 35 per cent over prior year. Overall, our Net Interest Income increased by 11 per cent over prior year and is a signal of the strength of our core banking businesses.”
Sabga was also buoyed by the performance of the company’s Insurance Segment which includes TATIL and TATIL Life.
He said the company’s insurance segment “remains well capitalised and Insurance revenues increased in most of our business lines over the prior year. Renewal income in both our Life and Property & Casualty portfolios continues to be very positive, and expenses, although moderately higher than the prior year, are being well managed. Our core insurance results are very encouraging as our markets continue to return to normal levels of activity.”
He stressed that he expected the company to recover.
He said, “The swing in performance in this quarter is mainly due to the negative non-cash mark-to-market adjustments in our investments, however our portfolios are well-diversified and structured to generate long-term returns. While investment markets are expected to continue to reflect volatility during the year, the strength of our brands and our continuing investments in information technology augur well for the future, as we maintain our focus on building our businesses and as we continue to seek new expansion and growth opportunities locally and regionally.”