Ecobank China Desk Generate $100 million Worth of Business
4/28/2012 4:02:27 PM -
Ecobank's China Desk established last year has already generated some $100 million worth of business between Ghana and China, the banks said.
Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Sam Adjei disclosed this to shareholders at the bank's Annual General Meeting on Friday.
Ecobank set up the China desk to collaborate with the Bank of China to provide a wide range of financial support services to Ghanaian and Chinese business people who do business between Ghana and China.
Mr. Adjei said the desk, manned by two Chinese nationals and one Ghanaian who spoke fluent Chinese, broke the language barrier between businesses and allowed for smooth business.
The bank had earlier announced the desk would also serve businesses from other countries where Ecobank had operations, adding that similar desks would be opened in those countries in the near future.
Meanwhile at the AGM, the Board Chairman of the Ecobank, Lionel Van Lare Dosoo excited shareholders when he announced a 24Gp dividend per share, representing some 30% return on equity from last year.
He said the bank closed 2011 with a profit before tax of GHS105.2million, which was 16% increase the GHS90.7million profit in 2010. But he stopped short of saying profit after tax.
Mr. Van Lare Dosoo also announced full year (FY) income for 2011 stood at GHS234.5million, showing some 30% growth year on year, and he described it as an overall good result.
Mr. Van Lare Dosoo noted that competition was stiffer last year and the economy was also fragile but in spite of that 'I am happy to inform you thatyour bank was able to grow its asset size by 40% to GHS2.1billion.'
Customer deposits also grew by 44% to GHS1.6billion in 2011, from GHS1.1 in 2010, and as a result, the bank gave out some GHS850million as loans and advances, which was 71% increase over loans and advances given out in 2010.
Mr. Van Lare Dosoo said non-performing loan ratio was only 0.66%. which was one of the lowest in the industry and showed the soundness and quality of the bank's asset books.
'Provision for credit losses increased marginally on a comparable basis by GHS0.4million, or 7%, to GHS6.2million,' he said.
The Ecobank Group recently acquired 100% shares in The Trust Bank (TTB), and Mr. Van Lare Dosoo said processes to fully integrate TTB into the Ecobank Group were still ongoing, but he welcomed the staff of TTB to Ecobank.
Some shareholder were concerned about why the staff strength of the bank had remained 890 from 2010 to 2011 and yet staff expenses increased by a whopping 44% from GHS41.8million in 2010 to GHS60.1million in 2011.
One shareholder actually asked management to watch the way the spent shareholders money on staff.
Another shareholder was concerned that there were usually delays in the payment of dividends to the individual shareholders and that was not too good.
Another shareholder requested that the annual report should separate the group's financial statement from Ghana's statements so shareholder would know how Ecobank Ghana was also doing.
All the existing members of the bank's board were re-elected to another three-year term.
Story by Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News/Ghana