Ecobank Ghana is to pay 29 pesewas per share to its shareholders for the 2012 financial year, after posting a 76 per cent rise in its profits before tax within the period.
The bank’s profit before tax rose from GH¢106 million in 2011 to GH¢186 million in 2012.
The 2012 dividend represents a 21 per cent rise over the previous year’s figure, which was 24 pesewas. The bank’s share price on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has also jumped from 63 per cent from GH¢3.00 in 2012 to GH¢4.92 as of April 19,2013.
The Ecobank Ghana Board Chair, Mr Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, said at the banks’ annual general meeting in Accra that the bank recorded a GH¢2.46 billion in customer deposits during 2012, which was 53 per cent higher than that of 2011, adding that its loan book also grew by 64 per cent to GH¢1.39 billion.
The chairman said the shareholders share prices were a function of market forces so there was little the bank could do about its rising share price.
Meanwhile, the bank recorded a growth in total asset of GH¢3.4 billion, which is 61 per cent higher than the previous year’s.
The bank’s provision for credit loss, however, rose from GH¢6.1 million in 2011 to GH¢25.3 million in 2012, thereby raising its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio to 5.1 per cent.
The board chair attributed the increase in NPL ratio to the additional growth in the bank’s SME portfolio due to the acquisition of The Trust Bank (TTB) a year ago.
“Once you merge with another institution, you have to accept both the good and the bad but we are doing everything in our power to recollect those loans and reduce the credit losses,” Mr Doso said.
He also attributed the bank’s 61 per cent growth in its asset to the TTB acquisition.
Ecobank is currently the biggest bank in Ghana with 78 branches and about 200 automated teller machines (ATMs) and several point of sale ( POS) terminals.
Story: Suleiman Mustapha
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