HFC poised to expand operations

HFC Bank will expand its banking business and grow its subsidiaries to further enhance earnings.HFC Bank will expand its banking business and grow its subsidiaries to further enhance earnings.

In this direction, the bank has got approval of shareholders to inject additional capital of US$30 million to recapitalise its operations in line with Bank of Ghana’s minimum capital requirement and to increase market share in the competitive banking industry.

Speaking at the “Facts behind the Figures Programme” of the Ghana Stock Exchange to explain to brokers and journalists factors underpinning the bank’s performance last year, Mr Akwete Akita, Executive Director, said the fresh capital would invigorate the Group’s operations and attainment of strategic targets for the ensuing years as well as enhance profitability and increase shareholder value.

The group in 2008 put up an impressive performance that saw interest income rising by 49.04 per cent from GHc27.94 million to GHc35.68 million.

Profit before tax grew by 91.71 per cent to GH¢6.0 million from GH¢2.1 million. Loan and advances grew by 37.88 per cent from GHc102.63 million to GHc141.51 million.

Mr Akita said the bank, having met the goals of its first strategic plan, would soon present a new one, which was expected to guide its operations for the next five years to ensure continued growth and profitability.

The bank plans to grow its loan portfolio, pursue aggressive deposit mobilisation with active branch expansion and a further boost in micro-finance in the next years.

Mr Akita said the branch expansion agenda was to ensure national representation in all viable business areas across the country to enable it to take advantage of internal money transfer.

There are currently 17 branches across the country.

Mr Asare Akuffo, Managing Director, HFC Bank, said the bank would continue to explore partnership opportunities within the West African sub-region as a means of ensuring that the growth pattern was sustained in the long-run.

However, he said, the process of seeking a partnership was difficult since it was not easy to find a target company.

Mr Akuffo said the bank would adopt cost cutting strategies and efficient risk management to shore-up its improvement in earnings.

Mr Ekwow Afedzie, General Manager of the Ghana Stock Exchange, assured investors that the automated trading system was working well and asked them to open accounts with the depository to enable them to trade.

So far only 6,000 accounts have been opened.

Mr Afedzie asked shareholders to open accounts to enable the Exchange o meet its goal of enhancing liquidity.

Source: GNA