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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