GCB Maintains Solid Asset Base
Ghana Commercial Bank Limited (GCB) has taken advantage of the business opportunities in the country to increase its total assets by 47.1percent last year.
The bank's assets base went up from GH¢779.2 million in 2006 to GH¢1,145.8 million by the end of 2007.
Apart from the solid assets base, the loans and advances of the bank also jumped from GH¢376.2 million in 2006 to GH¢760.6 million last year, representing a 102.2-percent rise over the previous year's figure.
Despite the challenging economic environment and the increasingly competitive banking industry, GCB managed to increase its deposits from GH¢634.6 million in 2006 to GH¢839.4 million last year, representing a significant rise of 32.3 percent.
This comprises current accounts of 44.8 percent, savings accounts of 32.2 percent and time deposits of 23 percent.
The pragmatic measures adopted by the management of GCB had also yielded a positive result as the bank posted GH¢25.462 million as its 2007 profit after tax figure, compared to the 2006 figure of GH¢26.015 million.
GCB's interest income rose by 9.5 percent, while its investment income decreased by 15 percent from GH¢37.8 million in 2006 to GH¢32.2 million last year. The bank's operating expenses also went up from GH¢81.9 million to GH¢99.8 million in 2007.
As a result of the afore-mentioned profit, made by GCB, its board proposed a dividend of GH¢0.055 per share, amounting to GH¢14,575 million, compared to the previous years' figure of GH¢9.075 million.
The proposed dividend payout, according to the board, represents 57.24 percent of the bank's profit after tax as against the 35.5 percent paid in 2006.
As of January 2007, GCB's share on the Ghana Stock Exchange rose from GH¢0.6200 to GH¢0.9950 by the end of the year, representing 60.48 percent rise over the January figure.
K.G. Osei-Bonsu, Board Chairman of GCB told shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting in Accra last Friday that the board had approved a new corporate plan, spanning 2008 to 2010 with the aim of delivering quality service and also creating value for the shareholders.
The Managing Director of the bank, Lawrence Adu-Mante said: “We will develop products to meet the needs of the customer in line with the bank's focus of service delivery for customer satisfaction.”
GCB was crowned the best emerging market bank for the year 2007. The Global Finance Magazine, a publishing firm in collaboration with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund selected GCB as the best domestic bank in Ghana during their annual meeting in America.
Similarly, the Banker Magazine of the Prestigious Financial Times Group of the United Kingdom awarded GCB the bank of the year 2007 for Ghana.
The bank pledged to build the widest networked bank and further strengthen its capacity to be ahead in the competition.
By Felix Dela Klutse