NEF loans worth millions written off

By Drum Digital
27 September 2013

NEF had to write off R290 million worth of non-performing loans last year, over double more than the previous year, the Business Day newspaper reported.

The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) had to write off R290 million worth of non-performing loans last year, over double more than the previous year, the Business Day newspaper reported on Friday. The NEF, which wrote off R105m in loans in 2011, stated in its annual report presented to Parliament on Thursday that "tough economic times" had impacted upon "distressed business", according to the daily. "Specific to this are investments that have been restructured. A significant portion of these investments are in the construction sector," indicated the report.

Write-offs represented 18.6 percent of the total loans portfolio and 20 percent of the entire invested portfolio, above the targeted 15 percent.

The fund had total assets of R5.4 billion and was looking to government for recapitalisation.

In July, Trade and Industry Minster Rob Davies called for a report into the R34.1m funding of Hyde Park boutique Luminance by the NEF.

He reportedly said he wanted to determine whether the funding of Luminance was in line with the NEF's mandate and whether there was a need to strengthen that mandate.

-by Sapa

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