Ecobank edges into the black

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ECOBANK Zimbabwe Ltd reported a US$180 000 after tax profit in the six months to June from a loss of US$1,5 million in December last year, helped by higher fees, commissions and trade finance income.

Report by Chris Muronzi
In a statement attached to it’s financial results to June, Ecobank said loan arrangement fees, trade finance income, support from the bank’s parent company, the Ecobank Group, and reduced losses on loans helped it return to profitability.

 
Interest income rose to US$2,1 million from US$1,3 million while non-interest income was US$3,1 million from US$1,1 million in the period to December last year.

 
Total assets grew by 38% to US$80,4 million, bolstered by a 30% increase in customer deposits of US$63,2 million and a 69% rise in loans to customers amounting to US$62,4 million .

 
The bank said credit lines of US$25 million were mobilised from Mashreq Bank and Afreximbank. Of the US$25 million, US$15 million was for off — balance sheet financing.

 
EcoBank said it secured additional lines of credit from some of its affiliates to support regional trade finance.

 
Shareholders have committed to a further increase in the bank’s capital base before the end of the year to fund a planned branch network expansion, the bank said.

 
Ecobank said it would roll out five new branches in strategic locations and deploy more ATMs and point of sale devices.

 
The financial institution hopes to increase its funding base so as to enlarge its capacity to underwrite new business.

 
“This will be achieved through; accessing more lines of credit from within and outside the Ecobank Group, further exploiting risk sharing and syndications with other Ecobank affiliates within the region, and diversifying the deposit base by expanding public sector collections. Ecobank Omni Corporate Banking and the real-time interface with Zimra will play a pivotal role in this and fresh capital injection by shareholders,” the bank said.

 
The Ecobank Group acquired Premier Banking Corporation, a merchant bank, and transformed it into a commercial bank.

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