THE ANSA Merchant Bank Group (AMBL) recorded profit before tax (PBT) of $357million in 2019 which was a record growth of in PBT year on year of 37 per cent. “(This is) testament to the sound fundamentals underpinning all the group’s businesses,” said managing director Gregory N Hill.
He made a presentation on Monday during the 2019 AMBL annual meeting of shareholders, which was held virtually. He said the bank continues to be well diversified and resilient, anchored by both the banking business and strong results from the insurance business. He reported both banking and insurance lines performed extremely well, showing about $100 million in PBT growth year on year.
“2019 was really a landmark year for our bank group.” Hill said the bank created significant value for shareholders as reflected in the premium of the market value per share being over the book value per share. He also said while the TT Stock Market dipped in line with the slow down in the economy AMBL demonstrated great resilience and this was seen in consistent growth in value seen in the rise in book value per share.
He said the merchant banking operation by itself was also a very well diversified and resilient business. He reported the group’s investment banking business remained a major player in the capital market, with over $5 billion in deals executed. He also spoke on the success of Tatil, which celebrated 57 years of success in insurance locally and is a player in Barbados via Brydens. “Revenues exceed the half-a-billion-dollar mark ($500 million) in 2019 and generated PBT of $81 million through an increase in retentions and optimising reinsurance spend in 2019.”
Hill noted Tatil’s maintenance of its AM Best Rating of A- (Excellent) which is best in region. On Tatil Life specifically, which celebrated 43 years in life insurance, Hill reported it delivered a record PBT performance at $92 million. He explained investment Income was a major driver of PBT performance, with over $114 ANSA Merchant Bank has record 37% growth million in growth in 2019, as well as annualised premium income jumping by ten per cent year on year.
“Overall this was a record year.” He also reported a seven per cent increase in total assets, which crossed the $2.5 billion mark in 2019. Also during the annual meeting two new directors were elected: former Republic Bank Ltd MD David Dulal-Whiteway and chartered accountant and National Flour Mills chairman Nigel Romano. The two replace Nicholas Owen and Anton Gopaulsingh, who did not offer themselves for re-election.
ANSA Merchant Bank chairman A Norman Sabga thanked them both for their contributions to the company. Sabga was re-elected as a director together with Ray Sumairsingh, Timothy Hamel-Smith, Jeremy Matouk, Ian Welch, M Musa Ibrahim and Larry Howai. Sabga explained the board sought to have the meeting in person but had no option than to go virtual because of the covid19 pandemic.
He also filed a motion for an amendment to the by-laws allowing for virtual meetings (via phone or another means) when in-person meetings cannot be held and it was passed.