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Kamel Néji to Africanmanager: ’’Our results are consistent with the stated objectives’’

Kamel Néji, CEO of the “Union Internationale des Banques” (UIB) gave Africanmanager an exclusive interview in which he talked about several topics, including primarily the financial position of the bank, its ambitions and its major future directions.

Kamel Néji also spoke of the capital increase announced recently, its main characteristics and the purpose of the issuance of shares.

How do you assess the financial position of the UIB for the year 2014?

The UIB is now a strong bank with big ambitions for its customers and its shareholders.

Are you satisfied with the results achieved up to now by the bank?

Despite a difficult economic environment, the results of the UIB are broadly in line with the stated objectives.

Can we talk about constraints faced by the Bank?

The UIB is today, like other banks, subject to different constraints related to the environment which remains challenging and marked in particular by a moderate pace of growth at the domestic level.

It must be recognized, however, that the UIB has continued its growth on structurally sound basis, thanks to the quality of its employees.

What are the main future directions of the bank?

We will continue to better organize our compatibility with the universe of customer needs and expectations in terms of quality of service. For our shareholders, we will work to achieve a return on regulatory capital equal to at least 15% per year throughout the period of our business plan 2014-2018.

Finally, the future UIB, we want it, also, warmer, more communicative, more organized, more responsive and more generous.

How does UIB stand in relation to other banks?

The UIB is not going to settle for its present place in the ranking of Tunisian banks. UIB will continue to work to become, where appropriate, a consolidating bank rather than a consolidated bank.

You have just announced a capital increase, what are the main characteristics of the transaction?

The operation is the combination of a reduction of capital and a capital increase.

The capital reduction was done by reducing the par value from 10 dinars to 5 dinars per share, bringing the capital from 196 million dinars to 98 million dinars.

As part of this transaction, the share capital will be increased by 83.3 MTD allocated as follows:

74.8 MTD cash subscription and issue of 14,960,000 new shares of nominal 5 dinars.

8.5 MTD cash subscription and issue of 1,700,000 new investment certificates (IC) rated 5 dinars reserved for former shareholders other than “Société Générale.”

What is the purpose of the share issue?

Funds received will enable UIB to replenish its capital ratios before the end of the year 2014, to provide, in the coming years, a development consistent with its business plan and recover from 2015 the ability to distribute dividends under the fiscal year 2014.

Is this capital increase the last one?

The Board of Directors of the UIB is not considering new capital increase. The one in progress is sized to allow the UIB to ensure over the next few years a development consistent with its business plan 2014-2018 while restoring its ability to distribute dividends.

What are the ambitions of the bank in the private market?

On the retail market, UIB intends to pursue its business strategy to maintain a leadership position with a proven industrial know-how in the business of retail credit. Furthermore, the bank will continue to build customer loyalty through the ongoing enhancement of its product and services while seeking to renew its business through development on the youth market.

And in the professional market?

For the professional market, UIB will continue its strategy of winning the segment of traders based on a competitive and innovative offering in local shops and e-commerce, particularly in the market of liberal professions and health professionals especially in synergy with the premium market.

What are the prospects for development in the market of businesses?

Regarding the market of businesses, UIB aims to become a reference bank, particularly in terms of quality management of flows and of the investment financing bank and position itself as a local commercial bank backed by a large international group, “Société Générale,” which today has a real ambition for development in the Maghreb and Africa.

What are the concrete actions taken by the UIB in terms of structured finance and, more generally, in terms of bank financing and investment?

The UIB is positioned today on funding for seven major public projects linked in particular with port activities and energy but also on financing and coverage of public debt as well as structured finance with imports of raw materials.

What are the expected results of UIB in 2014?

It is likely that the net results of the UIB for the year 2014 reach 45 million dinars corresponding to a normative return on equity of 15%.

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