Word from the Chairman of the Board of Directors
How do you analyze the performance of the Orabank Group?
The year 2018 was marked by a strong performance improvement, with an increase of Oragroup’s key figures compared to the previous year: +21% to FCFA 2,171 billion for total assets, +17% for net banking income to FCFA 126.77 billion and +36% for net income to FCFA 29.77 billion. These results confirm our development strategy based on the consolidation of our activities and the optimization of our network to serve our customers in order to generate performance, create value and continue to grow. In 10 years, the Orabank Group has grown from a presence in five West African countries to a pan-African dimension, with subsidiaries in 12 countries in four currency zones, a balance sheet size multiplied by a factor of 7 and customer loans by 8, it has more than 510,000 customers, 1,857 employees and 149 bank branches.
The Orabank group has experienced remarkable growth with potential for economic growth in all its countries of presence, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, due in part to the low banking penetration in the region and the Group’s dynamism, which is able to respond as closely as possible to market demands. Orabank presents an integrated model with the adoption by all the Group’s subsidiaries of a single banking operating system that enhances the efficiency and performance of the entities. The Group has a decentralized decision-making process that ensures both effective control and responsiveness of our subsidiaries. In addition, development opportunities through external growth and acquisitions, particularly in Central Africa (Cameroon, Congo) are emerging and are supported by external sources of financing. Oragroup also has a strong capacity to raise funds, materialized by several operations in recent years: the 2013 bond issue, the recent commercial paper issues (in September 2016 and May 2017) and, of course, the 100% public offering at the end of 2018.
What development strategy can you expect from the Orabank Group's recent IPO?
Oragroup’s IPO on the Regional Securities Exchange (BRVM) in April 2019 is to date the largest transaction since the creation of the BRVM in 1998 with a regional capital market raising of FCFA 56.92 billion. This capital increase will enable the Group to invest in digital banking, seize growth opportunities in Central African countries, increase the Group’s reputation among the financial community and the general public, and strengthen the equity capital of certain subsidiaries. This initial public offering is the result of work carried out over the past 10 years but also and above all an incentive to continue along the same path. Since 2009, the strategy and growth trajectory have been driven by Emerging Capital Partners’ ability to invest and mobilize external financial resources with the teams I would like to acknowledge here.
In connection with the DNA of an African bank focused on regional economic actors, we wanted to combine resource raising with value creation for African investors, both institutional and professional investors as well as individuals. The success of our initial public offering is an indicator of market confidence, that has validated the solidity of our model and the sustainability of our strategy focused on all the players who contribute to the emergence of the continent.
How do you view your commitment to Oragroup?
At present, 20% of Oragroup’s capital is listed on the stock exchange (floating capital). The Group’s other shareholders retain 80% of the capital, including the pan-African investor Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), which I co-lead and which remains the reference shareholder with more than 50% of the shares. ECP and Oragroup now demonstrate that African finance is developing, that it effectively finances our economies and that we are witnessing the emergence of a genuine African capitalism, capable of intensifying and accelerating the continent’s progress towards growth and its profound and sustainable transformation for the benefit of the populations. ECP’s strategy is to create value to bring out regional champions who are supported over time. With Oragroup, I think I can say that we have succeeded in reaching this goal.
Word from the Chief Executive Officer
(Previously CEO of the Group from 2009 to 2015 and Chief Executive Officer since June 2019)
What are the key factors of the Orabank Group's success?
The key factors to the success of our Orabank Group are linked, first and foremost, to a clear strategic positioning in line with our vocation as a universal bank and our identity as a pan-African group on a human scale, well established in Central and West Africa and perfectly familiar with its markets. Moreover, beyond the stated development intentions, a strategy is only a reality if it is driven by men and women, both our managerial teams and our employees, the first ambassadors of our values. Our roadmap is widely shared by our teams and applied to our activities and businesses. It is one of our great strengths. Third, we have effective governance that meets the criteria of the Basel agreements, a diversity of directors whose experience and expertise contribute to supporting our strategic vision. We have 3 independent directors, which encourages rich and constructive exchanges within our Board of Directors. The cohesion of our teams, the overall consistency of our markets and the correlation of synergies have contributed to strengthening our business model and enabled the growth that our Group is experiencing. In particular, we are proud of the recent investment rating of A long-term and A2 short-term by Bloomfield, with a stable outlook. Among the strengths identified were financial strength and the implementation of best governance practices. In addition, in 2018, three Orabank Group subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Togo won the award for best bank in their respective countries. This award is presented by The Banker magazine, published by the Financial Times Group. Finally, the anti-money laundering and anti-corruption procedures put in place, the respect of CSR standards based on international standards and the production of an integrated report since 2016 consolidate the social responsibility of our Group, which I have the honour to lead since 1 June 2019.
How do you see your development within 5 years?
Our prospects are excellent and we are pursuing our high-potential development plan by carrying out targeted strategic operations as part of a new three-year plan for 2019 – 2021. We aim to double our balance sheet size by 2022. Our objective is to consolidate our positions in our historical markets in West and Central Africa. The Orabank Group is developing an intervention policy in countries where we do not have a direct presence, notably Cameroon, which is the region’s leading economy and completes the mapping of our locations. To this end, the Orabank Group has concluded a technical assistance agreement with Crédit Communautaire d’Afrique (CCA), a local bank with 42 branches in all ten regions of the country. Then, after having launched our trading room in Lomé, we want to create our own Management and Intermediation Company (SGI) in order to invest in a new growth sector and ensure overall consistency in our activities. We are currently carrying out the necessary steps to raise the capital, incorporate the company and submit the application for approval to CREPMF. Our model is also the development of the Structured Finance unit, which is becoming a business line in its own right, managing syndications and fundraising for the Group. After the positive experience of launching positive impact energy projects as part of the SUNREF project with AFD, the Orabank Group is closely interested in responsible investment and we are in discussion to conclude two partnerships for the launch of green bonds for the deployment of renewable energies, with the African Society for Biofuels and Renewable Energies (SABER) and the AGF insurance company for green guarantees. We are also continuing to develop our Cash Management products to support our customers in their real-time cash management needs through our digital offerings. In conclusion, we can say that in our historical markets, we are doubling our performance each year and that we are looking forward to the coming years with confidence, focusing on solid organic growth and external growth in line with our strategic positioning in Cameroon and Congo
What is your ambition to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030?