BancABC to expand branch network

Banc ABC plans to add 10 more branches to its network across the region in the current year as the bank chases an overall retail banking growth strategy, a company official said.

Taurai Mangudhla

Speaking after the company’s annual financial results briefing for the period ended December 2012, chief financial officer Beki Moyo told businessdigest the group currently had 61 branches and would be looking to adding at least nine by year-end. In 2011, the group had 49 branches.

“Zimbabwe has 22 branches and we are not primarily focusing on Zimbabwe,” Moyo said, adding the group’s target was to exceed 70 branches in the current year.

In terms of brick and mortar costs for the branches, Moyo said 10 branches could cost anything between US$5 million and US$10 million to set up.

“The cost varies per country and each branch, depending on the size, ranges between US$500 000 and US$1 million to set up,” he added.
Moyo’s statement follows similar remarks by group chief executive Doug Munatsi that the company intends to increase retail penetration in Mozambique through increasing the number of branches, in line with improving macro-economic environment.

ABC Holdings chief operating officer Francis Dzanya said the group was already on a branch roll-out, with the number of branches having been increased to six in the current year from four in 2011.

In 2013, the group’s strategy is to diversify its funding mix using liquidity risk management as a primary focus.

“Our focus is on sweating our balance sheet, reducing cost of funding and cross-selling our products in the coming financial year,” Munatsi said.

The group plans to raise US$100 million additional tier two capital through debt.

Furthermore, Munatsi said the bank was looking at partnering mobile networks for a mobile banking platform that is expected to grow operations.

Announcing results, Munatsi said the significant investments made in retail banking in recent years were now generating substantial, sustainable returns.

During the year, the bank successfully concluded a US$50 million rights offer.

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