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ASA International Group PLC April 2021 business update

26/05/2021 7:01am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


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ASA International Group PLC

26 May 2021

ASA International Group plc April 2021 business update

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 26 May 2021 - ASA International, ('ASA International', the 'Company' or the 'Group'), one of the world's largest international microfinance institutions, today provides the following update of the impact of COVID-19 on its business operations as at 30 April 2021.

-- Liquidity remained high with approximately USD 109m of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents across the Group on 30 April 2021.

   --    The pipeline of funding deals under negotiation totalled approximately USD 164m. 

-- With the exception of India, the Philippines, and Myanmar, all other operating companies achieved collection efficiency of more than 90% and 9 out of 13 countries achieved collection efficiency of more than 95%.

-- India collections remained broadly stable at 87% due to ongoing challenges of the operating environment in Assam and the second wave of COVID-19 affecting the whole country.

-- The Philippines collections decreased to 83% due to the implementation of various, regional lockdowns.

-- Collections in Myanmar remained broadly stable at 65% due to the ongoing disruption following the military's takeover of the Government and the ongoing nation-wide protests.

-- Portfolio quality remained challenging, particularly in India and the Philippines with benchmark PAR>30 for the Group, including off-book loans and excluding loans overdue more than 365 days, slightly improving to 13.3% from 14.3% in March 2021, and PAR>90 slightly increasing to 10.6% from 9.3% in March 2021. The Group's operating subsidiaries, excluding India, the Philippines and Myanmar, collectively have been able to maintain PAR>30 at 3.8%.

-- Disbursements as percentage of collections exceeded 100% in 7 countries with much lower percentages seen in India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

-- The number of clients continued to increase more than 2.5m, while Gross OLP slightly decreased to USD 482m (7% higher than in April 2020 and 0.4% lower compared to March 2021), across the Group.

-- The moratoriums granted in April amounted to USD 1.4 m, primarily related to ongoing disruption of the operations in Myanmar .

Health impact of COVID-19 on staff and clients

-- The immediate health impact of COVID-19 on the Company's operations remained low with only 149 of over 12,500 staff members confirmed as infected since March 2020 , but with no deaths . Since March 2020, confirmed infections amongst 2.5m clients increased from 1,700 to 2,107 as at 30 April 2021, resulting in 38 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Funding

   --    Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents remained high at approximately USD 109m. 

-- The Company secured approximately USD 6m of new loans from local and international lenders in April 2021.

-- The majority of the Company's USD 164m pipeline of future wholesale loans are supported by (agreed) term sheets and/or draft loan documentations. The terms and conditions of the remaining loans are being negotiated with lenders.

Collection efficiency until 30 April 2021 (1, 2)

 
 Countries          01-15   16-28   01-15   16-31   01-15   16-30 
                     Feb     Feb     Mar     Mar     Apr     Apr 
                   ------  ------  ------  ------  ------ 
 India               84%     84%     86%     88%     86%     87% 
 Pakistan            99%     99%     99%     99%     99%     99% 
 Sri Lanka           86%     93%     90%     91%     93%     94% 
 The Philippines     77%     82%     83%     88%     85%     83% 
 Myanmar             80%     76%     52%     66%     45%     65% 
 Nigeria             96%     97%     95%     96%     93%     96% 
 Ghana              100%    100%    100%    100%    100%    100% 
 Sierra Leone        84%     94%     92%     99%     90%     96% 
 Kenya               98%     99%    100%    100%    100%     99% 
 Tanzania            99%    100%    100%    100%    100%    100% 
 Uganda              91%     94%     98%     99%    100%    100% 
 Rwanda              89%     93%     94%     97%     95%     95% 
 Zambia              99%    100%    100%    100%    100%    100% 
-----------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------ 
 
 
      (1) Collection efficiency refers to actual collections from 
       clients divided by expected collections for the period; since 
       any moratorium on the repayment of loans are only granted to 
       clients after the end of the month, the collection efficiency 
       is not affected by the grant of such moratorium. 
       (2) As of December 2020, the definition of collection efficiency 
       has been amended in view of the increased amount of overdue 
       collection and advance payments in various countries to: the 
       sum of actual regular collections, actual overdue collections 
       and actual advance payments divided by the sum of expected regular 
       collections, actual overdue collections and actual advance payments. 
       This also means that collections efficiency no longer can exceed 
       100%. 
 

-- Collection efficiency across the Group increased or remained broadly stable compared to the previous month in all countries, with the exception of the Philippines and Sierra Leone .

-- Collections in India remained broadly stable at 87 % compared to the previous month, due to the challenging political environment in Assam (approximately 13% of ASA India's loan portfolio) following the recent elections and increased disruptions to operations as result of the severe second wave of COVID-19 .

-- Collections decreased to 83% in the Philippines due to the imposition of various local and regional lockdowns following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

-- Collections in Myanmar remained broadly stable at 65% compared to the previous month, due to disruptions to the ordinary life of citizens caused by the military's takeover of the Government and ongoing nation-wide protests.

Loan portfolio quality up to and including April 2021 (3, 4)

 
                             Gross OLP (in 
                                 USDm)                     Non-overdue loans               PAR>30 
                 -----------------------------------  -------------------------  ------------------------- 
                     Feb/21       Mar/21      Apr/21   Feb/21   Mar/21   Apr/21   Feb/21   Mar/21   Apr/21 
 India (total)        168          182         177      64.5%    69.4%    70.0%    29.6%    27.9%    24.3% 
 Pakistan               69           74          76     96.2%    96.7%    96.9%     3.1%     2.8%     2.3% 
 Sri Lanka                9            9           9    90.6%    89.4%    89.0%     5.9%     4.9%     6.0% 
 Philippines            51           53          54     73.8%    76.2%    75.7%    23.3%    22.5%    21.7% 
 Myanmar                30           31          26     84.1%    48.9%    48.8%     0.6%     4.4%     3.1% 
 Ghana                  45           47          47     99.4%    99.5%    99.4%     0.4%     0.3%     0.3% 
 Nigeria                32           33          34     91.5%    91.5%    91.3%     5.5%     5.3%     5.3% 
 Sierra 
  Leone                   5            5           5    91.3%    92.1%    91.9%     4.6%     4.6%     4.6% 
 Kenya                  14           15          16     82.9%    84.9%    86.0%    16.4%    14.0%    13.0% 
 Uganda                   8            8           9    76.5%    81.1%    84.9%    23.3%    18.7%    14.9% 
 Tanzania               22           24          25     97.4%    97.7%    97.9%     2.3%     2.1%     1.9% 
 Rwanda                   3            3           3    83.1%    85.8%    87.4%    10.7%    10.3%     9.7% 
 Zambia                   1            1           1    95.6%    98.4%    98.6%     4.3%     1.6%     1.4% 
 Group                457          484         482      80.3%    80.3%    81.1%    15.7%    14.3%    13.3% 
                                PAR>90                          PAR>180 
                 -----------------------------------  ------------------------- 
                     Feb/21       Mar/21      Apr/21   Feb/21   Mar/21   Apr/21 
 India (total)        18.9%        20.0%       18.4%     1.5%     6.4%     8.4% 
 Pakistan              2.7%         2.6%        2.1%     2.0%     2.1%     1.8% 
 Sri Lanka             5.2%         3.9%        3.6%     2.8%     2.9%     3.0% 
 Philippines           3.8%         3.9%       19.1%     1.6%     1.8%     2.2% 
 Myanmar               0.4%         3.4%        2.3%     0.3%     1.9%     1.7% 
 Ghana                 0.3%         0.3%        0.3%     0.3%     0.3%     0.3% 
 Nigeria               4.5%         4.2%        3.9%     2.9%     3.2%     3.1% 
 Sierra 
  Leone                3.1%         3.2%        3.2%     2.0%     2.0%     1.9% 
 Kenya                15.9%        13.8%       12.7%     7.1%    13.5%    11.5% 
 Uganda               20.8%        18.4%       14.9%     0.6%     2.8%     7.3% 
 Tanzania              2.1%         1.9%        1.7%     1.3%     1.5%     1.5% 
 Rwanda                8.8%         8.4%        7.8%     0.8%     3.2%     5.0% 
 Zambia                4.2%         1.5%        1.3%     3.4%     0.7%     1.0% 
 Group                 9.3%         9.3%       10.6%     1.7%     3.7%     4.6% 
 
   (3) PAR>x is the percentage of outstanding customer loans with at 
   least one instalment payment overdue x days, excluding loans more 
   than 365 days overdue, to gross outstanding loan portfolio including 
   off-book loans. 
   (4) Gross loan portfolio includes the off-book BC and DA model, excluding 
   interest receivable and before deducting ECL provisions and modification 
   loss. 
 

-- PAR>30 improved to 13.3% primarily due to the improvements in collections seen across the Group

-- PAR>90 increased to 10.6% for the Group primarily due to the large amount of long-term overdue in India and the Philippines in the absence of the granting of any further moratoriums .

-- Credit exposure of the India off-book BC portfolio of USD 44.7m is capped at 5%. The included off-book DA portfolio of USD 2.5m has no credit exposure.

Disbursements vs collections of loans until 30 April 2021 (5)

 
 Countries                 01-15     16-28     01-15     16-31     01-15     16-30 
                            Feb       Feb       Mar       Mar       Apr       Apr 
                         --------  --------  --------  --------  -------- 
 India                      92%      116%      118%      143%       63%       79% 
 Pakistan                   99%       99%       99%       99%       99%      104% 
 Sri Lanka                  88%      145%       98%       86%       35%       51% 
 The Philippines            94%      107%      100%       93%       80%       97% 
 Myanmar                    32%       78%       80%       61%       30%       29% 
 Nigeria                   106%      104%      106%      112%      107%      111% 
 Ghana                     108%      116%      112%      123%      101%       97% 
 Sierra Leone              103%      114%      113%      107%       85%      105% 
 Kenya                     109%      117%      102%      112%       87%      113% 
 Tanzania                   94%      101%       94%      109%      100%      113% 
 Uganda                     93%      105%       92%      105%      104%      106% 
 Rwanda                     62%       83%       81%       91%       84%      106% 
 Zambia                    142%      137%      103%      126%      123%       91% 
-----------------------  --------  --------  --------  --------  --------  -------- 
  (5) Disbursements vs collections refers to actual loan disbursements 
   made to clients divided by total loans collected from clients in 
   the period. 
 

-- With the business environment continuing to gradually improve in many countries, disbursements of new loans continued to stabilise or increase in amount and as a percentage of weekly collections, with the exception of India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Development of Clients and Outstanding Loan Portfolio until 30 April 2021

 
                                                                      Gross OLP (in 
                  Clients (in thousands)          Delta                   USDm)                       Delta 
                                                                                                     Apr/20- 
                                                                                           Apr/20-    Apr/21   Mar/21- 
                                            Apr/20-   Mar/21-                               Apr/21        CC    Apr/21 
 Countries      Apr/20   Mar/21    Apr/21    Apr/21    Apr/21   Apr/20   Mar/21   Apr/21       USD       (6)       USD 
 India             741      748       747        1%        0%      181      182      177       -2%       -2%       -3% 
 Pakistan          433      442       454        5%        3%       62       74       76       23%       17%        2% 
 Sri Lanka          61       58        56       -7%       -2%       10        9        9       -7%       -4%       -3% 
 The 
  Philippines      341      319       325       -5%        2%       53       53       54        2%       -2%        2% 
 Myanmar           150      131       125      -16%       -4%       34       31       26      -22%      -14%      -14% 
 Nigeria           252      258       257        2%        0%       28       33       34       21%       19%        3% 
 Ghana             147      155       158        8%        2%       36       47       47       33%       33%        1% 
 Sierra Leone       33       39        39       18%        1%        3        5        5       71%       81%        3% 
 Kenya             100      102       105        5%        3%       15       15       16        8%        8%        5% 
 Tanzania          118      133       137       15%        3%       18       24       25       37%       37%        7% 
 Uganda             98       83        85      -13%        2%        9        8        9       -5%      -11%        9% 
 Rwanda             21       18        18      -14%       -1%        3        3        3       -2%        3%        2% 
 Zambia              4        7         8      116%       14%        0        1        1      151%      200%       10% 
 Total           2,498    2,492     2,514        1%        1%      451      484      482        7%        6%     -0.4% 
 

(6) Constant currency ('CC') implies conversion of local currency results to USD with the exchange rate from the beginning of the period.

-- With disbursements significantly decreasing in India , Gross OLP decreased 0.4% to USD 482m in April 2021 compared to the previous month, but ended up 7% higher than April 2020 in USD with strong growth in Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania of our more established operating countries.

Selected moratoriums (7) on loan repayments until 30 April 2021

 
                       Clients under moratorium 
                                                    As % of Total 
 Countries            Feb/21     Mar/21    Apr/21         Clients 
 India                     0          0         0              0% 
 Pakistan                  0          0         0              0% 
 Sri Lanka             5,114          0     1,321              2% 
 The Philippines         835        793         0              0% 
 Myanmar              38,597     63,074    60,156             48% 
 Nigeria                   0          0         0              0% 
 Ghana                     0          0         0              0% 
 Sierra Leone              0          0         0              0% 
 Kenya                     0          0         0              0% 
 Tanzania                  0          0         0              0% 
 Uganda                    0          0         0              0% 
 Rwanda                    0          0         0              0% 
 Zambia                    0          0         0              0% 
 Total                44,546     63,867    61,477            2.4% 
 
 
                     Moratorium amounts (USD thousands) 
                                                  Total    April moratoriums 
                                                  since              as % of               As % of 
 Countries          Feb/21   Mar/21   Apr/21     Mar/20                  OLP     Total Moratoriums 
 India                   0        0        0     14,836                   0%                   22% 
 Pakistan                0        0        0          0                   0%                    0% 
 Sri Lanka              97        0       16      2,058                 0.2%                    3% 
 The Philippines        21       16        0     26,729                   0%                   40% 
 Myanmar               872    1,439    1,396     11,752                   5%                   18% 
 Nigeria                 0        0        0      1,034                   0%                    2% 
 Ghana                   0        0        0          0                   0%                    0% 
 Sierra Leone            0        0        0         50                   0%                    0% 
 Kenya                   0        0        0      4,833                   0%                    7% 
 Tanzania                0        0        0        266                   0%                    0% 
 Uganda                  0        0        0      4,828                   0%                    7% 
 Rwanda                  0        0        0        576                   0%                    1% 
 Zambia                  0        0        0          0                   0%                    0% 
 Total                 990    1,455    1,412     66,963                 0.3%                100.0% 
 

(7) Moratoriums relate to clients who have received an extension for the payment of one or more loan instalments during the month.

-- Moratoriums on loan repayments were granted primarily to clients in Myanmar, and a few clients in Sri Lanka and amounted to USD 1.4m in total, which represents 0.3 % of the Group's Gross OLP.

-- Moratoriums granted in Myanmar remained around USD 1.4m, due to disruption in operations following the military's takeover of the Government and ongoing nation-wide protests.

Please note that, while the Company's operational performance appears to gradually normalize in most countries, the risk of further challenges to our operations should not be underestimated due to (i) the still relatively high infection rates, (ii) the current lack of available vaccines in most of our operating countries, (iii) the risk of the introduction of more infectious COVID-19 variants in our operating countries as have been observed in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, and, most recently, the Philippines, and (iv) the associated disruption this may cause to the businesses of our clients.

---

Enquiries:

ASA International Group plc

Investor Relations +31 6 2030 0139

Véronique Schyns vschyns@asa-international.com

About ASA International Group plc

ASA International is one of the world's largest international microfinance institutions, with a strong commitment to financial inclusion and socioeconomic progress. The company provides small, socially responsible loans to low-income, financially underserved entrepreneurs, predominantly women, across South Asia, South East Asia, West and East Africa.

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