• Melo Acuna

First-ever ADB Virtual Governors' meeting held

Asian Development Bank governors in first-ever virtual meeting

MANILA – Asian Development Bank’s Board of Governors approved its financial statements and the allocation of its 2019 net income in the Bank’s first-ever virtual meeting as the world reels from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) contagion.

The approval came at the first part of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, a business session among the Governors or their designated representatives from 68 members of the 54-year-old bank.

The second part of the Annual Meeting, including seminars with Governors and other senior government officials, members of the private sector, representatives, civil society organizations, youth, academia and the media has been scheduled from September 18-21,2020 in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

“Our immediate priority is to provide vital support to developing member countries as they confront the COVID-19 pandemic and return their economies to a path of sustainable growth,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa in his remarks during the meeting.

“Your approval today of the financial statements and allocation of net income ensure that we have the tools and financial stability to address the enormous challenges that now affect the lives and economies of millions of people across our region,” he added.

ADB Board of Governors’ Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea Hong Nam-Ki said the decisions reached today will be the basis if the region can overcome the current health care and economic crises.

He added the ADB should turn the crisis into an opportunity “while enhancing knowledge sharing on COVID-19 policy responses and expanding support for low-income countries and vulnerable groups.”

The Board of Governors passed a resolution to allocate US$1.069 billion of net income, the highest in the bank’s history, from ADB’s 2019 ordinary capital resources. The 2019 net allocable income is higher than the US$841.4 million recorded in 2018, due to an increase in allocable income from lending operations and liquidity investments and a drop in non-sovereign loan loss provisions.

In a statement, the ADB said the allocable net income will be distributed as US$615.7 million to the ordinary reserve to support ADB’s capital adequacy and provide an earnings base to general net income, US$259.5 million to the Asian Development Fund, which grants to ADB’s low-income member countries, US$130 million to the Technical Assistance Fund which provides a stable and predictable funding source for ADB’s technical assistance, as well as increased support to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, US$30 million to the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund, US$24 million to the Climate Change Fund and US$10 million to the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.

The governors approved the bank’s annual financial statements. ADB’s ordinary capital resources’ operating income amounted to US$1.1 billion in 2019, up from US$889 million in 2018. The 2019 net income was US$1.554, up from US$750 million in 2018.

The Bank has also supported its members as they address the effects of COVID-19 through its US$20 billion response package announced on 13 April. ADB has approved a series of measures to hasten its operations for faster and more flexible delivery of assistance. (Melo M. Acuña)

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa presiding over the first-ever Board of Governor's Virtual Meeting earlier today where governors or their representatives passed the financial statements and allocation of funds from the bank's earnings. (ADB Photos)

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