‘Tourism fallback containable’

With the tourism sector perhaps the hardest hit segment of the economy by the coronavirus pandemic, financial services provider First Capital Bank says it does not expect defaults from tourism players to have a huge impact on its loan book.

“The tourism sector has been significantly impacted due to travel restrictions, with this sector contributing 4 percent of the bank’s loan book, the impact is expected to be minimal in the event of a default from this sector,” said management in a first quarter trading update.

“Clients constituting 6,5 percent of the loan book including tourism sector have requested for restructuring of their loan facilities and repayments, with the bank working with these businesses to support them as best we can.

“We have put in place measures to mitigate credit risk by conducting a complete review of our loan portfolio to ensure that we focus our support and attention on the right sectors and businesses.

The bank had a positive first quarter as income rose on the back of an expanding loan book, but does expect the Covid-19 pandemic to have longer-term repercussions on its FY2020 numbers.

For the first quarter to March 31, 2020, the group said in inflation adjusted terms, income increased by 86 percent from $136 million to $253 million, while in historical cost terms total income increased by 85 percent from $115 million to $213 million. — fin24.com.

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