TIDMASAI

RNS Number : 2782J

ASA International Group PLC

26 April 2022

Press release

ASA International Group plc March 2022 business update

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 26 April 2022 - 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 31 March 2022.

-- Liquidity remains high with approximately USD 103m of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents across the Group.

   --    The pipeline of funding deals under negotiation totalled approximately USD 205m. 

-- With the exception of India and Myanmar, all other operating subsidiaries continued to achieve collection efficiency of more than 90% with 9 countries achieving more than 95%.

-- India collections improved to 81%, despite the substantial overdue collections and moratoriums provided to clients. Collection efficiency, excluding instalments due from clients receiving the one-time loan restructuring offered by the Reserve Bank of India ('RBI'), increased to 116%.

-- T he benchmark PAR>30 for the Group, including off-book loans and excluding loans overdue more than 365 days, remained broadly stable (from 6.8% to 6.7%).

-- The PAR>30 for the Group's operating subsidiaries, excluding India and Myanmar, remained at 1.9%.

-- Excluding all loans which have been overdue for more than 180 days and, as a result, have been fully provided for, PAR>30 remained at 4.6%.

-- Disbursements as percentage of collections exceeded 100% in 10 countries. The decreasing percentage in India was primarily due to the strategic decision to reduce disbursements.

-- With the number of clients broadly stable at 2.4m (slightly lower than in February and 5% lower than in March 2021), the continuing strategic focus in India on collections and the currency depreciation in Sri Lanka and Ghana , Gross OLP decreased to USD 417m (2% lower than in February 2022 and 13% lower than in March 2021).

-- The moratorium amount decreased to USD 21.7 m, and is composed of the restructured loans of certain distressed clients in India as per the RBI guidelines. No other operating subsidiary granted moratoriums.

Health impact of COVID-19 on staff and clients

-- Since March 2020, the number of staff members confirmed as infected by Covid increased to 561 of over 13,047 staff , with two deaths . Confirmed infections amongst 2.4m clients increased to 22,864 from 22,791 in the previous month, resulting in 698 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Of the 698 client deaths across the Group, 452 took place in Myanmar, with one death occurring in March 2022.

Funding

   --    Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents remained high at approximately USD 103m. 

-- The Company secured approximately USD 19m of new loans from local and international lenders in March 2022.

-- The majority of the Company's USD 205m pipeline of future wholesale loans are supported by agreed term sheets and/or draft loan documentation. The terms and conditions of the remaining loans are being negotiated with lenders.

Collection efficiency until 31 March 2022 (1)

 
 Countries                 Oct/21      Nov/21      Dec/21      Jan/22     Feb/22     Mar/22 
                         ----------  ----------  ----------  ---------  --------- 
 India                       70%         69%         74%        76%        76%        81% 
 Pakistan                    99%         99%         99%        99%        100%       100% 
 Sri Lanka                   91%         92%         94%        93%        93%        94% 
 The Philippines             97%         97%         97%        98%        98%        99% 
 Myanmar                   68%(2)      75%(2)      78%(2)      78%(2)     72%(2)     72%(2) 
 Ghana                      100%         99%         99%        99%        99%        100% 
 Nigeria                     96%         97%         96%        95%        96%        96% 
 Sierra Leone                93%         92%         92%        92%        92%        94% 
 Kenya                      100%        100%        100%        99%        100%       100% 
 Uganda                      94%         98%        100%        100%       100%       100% 
 Tanzania                   100%        100%        100%        100%       100%       100% 
 Rwanda                      97%         97%         97%        97%        97%        97% 
 Zambia                      99%         99%         99%        100%       100%       98% 
-----------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------  ---------  ---------  --------- 
 (1) Collection efficiency refers to actual collections from clients 
  divided by realizable collections for the period. It is calculated 
  as follows: the sum of actual regular collections, actual overdue collections 
  and actual advance payments divided by the sum of realizable regular 
  collections, actual overdue collections and actual advance payments. 
  Under this definition collection efficiency cannot exceed 100%. 
  (2) Collections are impacted by the ongoing lockdowns and civil unrest 
  in some areas of our operations. 
 

-- Collection efficiency across the Group increased or remained broadly stable compared to the previous month in all countries .

-- Collections in India improved to 81%, despite the substantial overdue collections and moratoriums provided to clients. Collection efficiency, excluding instalments due from clients receiving the one-time loan restructuring, increased to 116%.

-- Collection efficiency in India, including regular and overdue collections as well as advance payments, increased to 113% as a percentage of the regular, realizable collections, including advance payments. The substantial difference is due to the Group's policy that any loan instalment paid is first credited against the oldest outstanding amount overdue. This has an adverse impact on India's monthly collection efficiency, which is further aggravated by the relatively long duration of the loans disbursed in India. This adjusted collection efficiency metric illustrates that most clients in India continue to make payments on their loans due.

Loan portfolio quality up to and including March 2022 (3, 4, 5)

 
                           Gross OLP (in USDm)               Non-overdue loans         PAR>30 less PAR>180 
                 -------------------------------------  -------------------------  ------------------------- 
                      Jan/22       Feb/22       Mar/22   Jan/22   Feb/22   Mar/22   Jan/22   Feb/22   Mar/22 
 India (total)         111          107          103      68.8%    69.7%    70.1%    11.1%    10.2%     9.3% 
 Pakistan                81           83           83     99.7%    99.7%    99.7%     0.2%     0.2%     0.2% 
 Sri Lanka                 8            8            6    85.3%    85.9%    86.7%     3.9%     4.1%     4.0% 
 Philippines             46           47           47     94.9%    95.7%    96.3%     2.0%     1.9%     1.6% 
 Myanmar                 21           21           21     64.3%    58.5%    57.7%     1.0%    22.7%    29.3% 
 Ghana                   46           44           41     99.2%    99.3%    99.3%     0.3%     0.2%     0.2% 
 Nigeria                 37           37           37     90.9%    90.6%    90.3%     3.4%     3.6%     3.9% 
 Sierra 
  Leone                    7            7            7    72.3%    71.1%    65.8%     6.5%     7.1%     6.8% 
 Kenya                   17           18           18     98.6%    98.6%    98.6%     0.5%     0.6%     0.5% 
 Uganda                  10           10           11     90.7%    91.7%    92.9%     1.9%     0.9%     0.4% 
 Tanzania                36           37           38     99.1%    99.1%    99.1%     0.2%     0.1%     0.2% 
 Rwanda                    3            3            3    92.6%    92.4%    93.1%     3.0%     3.2%     3.1% 
 Zambia                    2            2            2    98.2%    97.7%    96.8%     0.5%     0.8%     1.1% 
 Group                 425          424          417      87.5%    87.7%    87.9%     3.8%     4.6%     4.6% 
 
 
                           PAR>30                     PAR>90                     PAR>180 
                 -------------------------  -------------------------  ------------------------- 
                  Jan/22   Feb/22   Mar/22   Jan/22   Feb/22   Mar/22   Jan/22   Feb/22   Mar/22 
 India (total)     19.3%    17.1%    15.4%    11.6%     9.9%     8.7%     8.2%     6.9%     6.2% 
 Pakistan           0.2%     0.2%     0.2%     0.2%     0.1%     0.1%     0.0%     0.0%     0.0% 
 Sri Lanka          6.6%     6.9%     6.6%     4.0%     4.3%     4.2%     2.8%     2.8%     2.6% 
 Philippines        2.5%     2.7%     2.8%     1.9%     2.0%     2.1%     0.6%     0.8%     1.2% 
 Myanmar            1.6%    23.3%    29.8%     1.0%     0.9%     1.0%     0.6%     0.5%     0.5% 
 Ghana              0.3%     0.3%     0.3%     0.2%     0.2%     0.2%     0.1%     0.1%     0.1% 
 Nigeria            5.4%     5.8%     6.2%     3.6%     3.8%     4.0%     2.0%     2.2%     2.3% 
 Sierra 
  Leone             8.7%     9.5%     9.5%     5.5%     6.2%     6.8%     2.2%     2.4%     2.7% 
 Kenya              1.0%     1.1%     1.0%     0.8%     0.8%     0.7%     0.5%     0.5%     0.4% 
 Uganda             2.9%     2.4%     2.0%     2.8%     2.3%     1.9%     0.9%     1.4%     1.6% 
 Tanzania           0.4%     0.4%     0.4%     0.4%     0.3%     0.3%     0.3%     0.3%     0.2% 
 Rwanda             4.8%     5.1%     5.1%     3.2%     3.3%     3.5%     1.8%     1.9%     2.0% 
 Zambia             0.8%     1.1%     1.4%     0.5%     0.5%     0.6%     0.2%     0.3%     0.3% 
 Group              6.4%     6.8%     6.7%     4.0%     3.5%     3.1%     2.6%     2.2%     2.1% 
 
   (3) Gross OLP includes the off-book BC and DA model, excluding interest 
   receivable and before deducting ECL provisions and modification loss. 
   (4) 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 OLP including off-book loans. Loans 
   overdue more than 365 days now comprise 3% of the Gross OLP. 
   (5) The table "PAR>30 less PAR>180" shows the percentage of outstanding 
   client loans with a PAR greater than 30 days, less those loans which 
   have been fully provided for. 
 
   --    PAR>30 for the Group remained broadly stable (from 6.8% to 6.7%). 

-- Credit exposure of the India off-book BC portfolio of USD 33.7m is capped at 5%. The included off-book DA portfolio of USD 1.6m has no credit exposure.

Disbursements vs collections of loans until 31 March 2022 (6)

 
 Countries               Oct/21     Nov/21     Dec/21     Jan/22    Feb/22    Mar/22 
                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------  -------- 
 India                    39%        85%        88%        78%        65%       62% 
 Pakistan                 100%       98%        100%       100%       96%      100% 
 Sri Lanka                86%        100%       113%       70%       115%      122% 
 The Philippines          90%        90%        81%        80%        93%      104% 
 Myanmar                  73%        90%        95%        99%        99%      116% 
 Ghana                    111%       114%       108%       74%       110%      115% 
 Nigeria                  128%       134%       93%        71%        98%       98% 
 Sierra Leone             112%       112%       110%       97%       102%      113% 
 Kenya                    96%        103%       55%        95%       101%      113% 
 Uganda                   115%       121%       69%        81%       112%      118% 
 Tanzania                 107%       109%       107%       114%      112%      110% 
 Rwanda                   101%       105%       98%        65%        80%      107% 
 Zambia                   110%       111%       109%       76%        80%      109% 
---------------------  ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------  --------  -------- 
 (6) Disbursements vs collections refers to actual loan disbursements 
  made to clients divided by total amounts collected from clients in the 
  period. 
 

-- Disbursements as percentage of collections exceeded 100% in 10 countries. The decreasing percentage in India was primarily due to the strategic decision to reduce disbursements.

Development of Clients and Outstanding Loan Portfolio until 31 March 2022

 
                                                                                  Gross OLP (in 
                  Clients (in thousands)                Delta                         USDm)                                Delta 
                                                                                                                       Mar/21-Mar/22 
                                                                                                       Mar/21-Mar/22              CC   Feb/22-Mar/22 
 Countries      Mar/21   Feb/22    Mar/22   Mar/21-Mar/22   Feb/22-Mar/22   Mar/21   Feb/22   Mar/22             USD             (7)             USD 
 India             737      498       476            -35%             -4%      180      107      103            -43%            -41%             -4% 
 Pakistan          442      530       541             22%              2%       74       83       83             11%             33%             -1% 
 Sri Lanka          58       52        52             -9%              1%        9        8        6            -37%             -7%            -29% 
 The 
  Philippines      319      295       299             -6%              2%       53       47       47            -11%             -5%              0% 
 Myanmar           131      111       112            -14%              0%       30       21       21            -28%             -9%              2% 
 Ghana             155      161       162              5%              1%       47       44       41            -11%             15%             -6% 
 Nigeria           258      245       241             -6%             -2%       33       37       37             13%             23%              0% 
 Sierra Leone       39       43        42              6%             -2%        5        7        7             31%             52%              2% 
 Kenya             102      120       123             20%              2%       15       18       18             24%             30%              4% 
 Uganda             83       93        95             15%              1%        8       10       11             29%             26%              5% 
 Tanzania          133      185       190             43%              3%       24       37       38             59%             60%              3% 
 Rwanda             18       18        18             -1%             -1%        3        3        3             21%             25%              3% 
 Zambia              7       16        16            133%              4%      0.6        2        2            253%            188%              1% 
 Total           2,481    2,368     2,368             -5%          -0.01%      480      424      417            -13%             -3%             -2% 
 

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

-- With the number of clients broadly stable at 2.4m, the continuing strategic focus in India on only collections and the currency depreciation in Sri Lanka and, Ghana Gross OLP decreased to USD 417m (2% lower than in February 2022 and 13% lower than in March 2021).

Selected moratoriums (8) on loan repayments until 31 March 2022

 
                 Clients under moratorium (in 
                          thousands) 
                                                  As % of Total 
 Countries       Jan/22      Feb/22      Mar/22         Clients 
 India              205         205         205             43% 
 Group              205         205         205              9% 
 
 
                 Moratorium amounts (USD 
                        thousands) 
                                              March Moratoriums    As % of Total 
 Countries      Jan/22    Feb/22    Mar/22          as % of OLP      Moratoriums 
 India          25,894    23,730    21,705                  21%             100% 
 Group          25,894    23,730    21,705                   5%             100% 
 

(8) 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 relate primarily to approximately 43% of clients in India, who accepted to benefit from the one-time debt restructuring scheme established by the RBI and confirmed in September 2021. See RBI Covid-19 Restructuring Guidelines .

-- The moratorium amount across the Group decreased to USD 21.7m, which represents 5 % of the Group's Gross OLP.

Key events in April 2022

-- In Sri Lanka measures have been taken including restricting loan sizes in order to prevent clients from over-borrowing due to the economic crisis.

-- Other than the existing partial lockdown and curfews in Myanmar, the Company is not aware of any further restrictions implemented in its operating countries as a result of the emergence of the Omicron variant up until 21 April 2022.

Please note that, while the Company's operational performance appears to gradually normalize in most countries except for India and Myanmar, the risk of additional challenges to our operations should not be underestimated, due to (i) the still relatively high infection rates, (ii) the current lack of available vaccines as well as vaccine hesitancy in most of our operating countries, (iii) the risk of the introduction of more infectious Covid variants in our operating countries, 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 Group plc (ASAI: LN) 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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