DBSA’s Financial Resilience: 3 Key Strategies Defying Economic Odds in a Challenging Landscape

  • Resilient Performance: DBSA reports a resilient financial performance despite challenging global and local economic conditions.
  • Strategic Focus: Amid economic challenges, DBSA maintains focus on sustainable infrastructure development, innovative solutions, and third-party funding.
  • Financial Highlights: The Bank's strong liquidity, capital position, and proactive risk management contribute to its overall resilience.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has released its reviewed condensed interim financial statements for the period ended 30 September 2023, revealing a resilient performance in the face of challenging economic conditions.

Global Economic Challenges Impacting Growth

Overview: DBSA, a key player in development finance, faces a complex economic landscape marked by global economic slowdown and risks.

Key Global Challenges:

  • Economic recovery slows, with divergences among sectors and regions.
  • Central banks’ inflation management impacts economic activity, posing risks to global growth.
  • Sovereign debt distress threatens emerging markets, limiting priority spending.

African Growth Outlook Faces Downside Risks

Challenges in Africa:

  • Africa’s growth outlook faces significant risks, including subdued global growth affecting exports.
  • Extreme weather events and fiscal challenges in African countries contribute to uncertainties.

DBSA’s Response:

  • Despite challenges, DBSA remains focused on sustainable infrastructure development beyond its balance sheet.
  • A growth strategy emphasizes catalytic roles, innovative solutions, and third-party funding through de-risking projects.

Local Economic Landscape and Municipal Challenges

South Africa’s Economic Challenges:

  • Subdued economic growth affected by energy security, logistical constraints, and rising interest rates.
  • Municipal challenges include ballooning debt, underspending, and financial management issues.

DBSA’s Mandate Amid Challenges:

  • DBSA remains committed to its mandate, focusing on growth strategies despite economic challenges.

Financial Performance and Management Strategies

Funding and Liquidity Management:

  • DBSA’s liquidity and capital position remains strong, with a 30-day liquidity coverage ratio of 374%.
  • Total debt decreased marginally, and the loan book remained resilient.

Leverage Ratio and Capital Adequacy:

  • Strong capital buffers, with the debt-to-equity ratio at 85%, well below the regulatory cap.
  • Capital ratio increased to 45%, indicating DBSA’s well-capitalized position.

Credit Risk and Expected Credit Loss Provisions:

  • Increase in expected credit loss provisions by 7% to approximately R715m, responding to changes in credit risk.
  • Overall balance sheet provisions slightly up, maintaining conservative and proactive risk management.

Total Assets and Profitability:

  • Total assets increased to R110bn, a 2% rise, with a focus on conservative financial management.
  • Despite economic challenges, DBSA remains profitable, with net profit decreasing by 23% to R2.1bn.

Efficiency and Cost Optimization:

  • Total cost-to-income ratio improved to 22%, reflecting effective cost optimization strategies.
  • DBSA closely monitors foreign exchange rate risk, using natural hedges and derivative hedging strategies.

Outlook and Future Prospects

Leadership and Resilience:

  • Despite economic challenges, DBSA maintains a strong leadership team and follows good corporate governance principles.

Pipeline of Projects:

  • DBSA has a healthy pipeline of projects, forming a solid platform for future success.
  • Focus remains on disbursing funds to infrastructure projects in line with the Bank’s mandate.


DBSA’s reviewed condensed interim financial statements reflect a nuanced economic environment where resilience, strategic focus, and proactive risk management play pivotal roles in navigating challenges. The Bank’s commitment to sustainable development underscores its significance in South Africa’s economic landscape. Despite uncertainties, DBSA remains positioned for future success.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: lethabo@rateweb.co.za Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo