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26.03.2009 Business & Finance

ECOBANK announces 50 per cent growth in profit


Ecobank Ghana Limited, one
of the leading banking institutions in the country, on Thursday said it recorded a 50 per cent growth in its profit after tax during the year 2008.

Speaking at the bank's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra on Thursday, Mr Tei Mensa Mante, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said profits jumped from GH¢22.3 million cedis in 2007 to GH¢33.6 million in 2008.

According to Mr Mante the Bank grew their income streams with strong performance in their net trading income pointing out that the net interest was also up by 29 per cent from GH¢35.7 million to GH¢46.1 million cedis attributing that to quality assets investments made by the bank.

The Board Chairman said the bank's operating cost also increased by 73 per cent following an expansion drive in respect of opening of new branches and other delivery channels undertaken during the year.

On the shareholders' return, Mr Mante said because the bank recorded an impressive performance, a dividend payment of GH¢0.16 per share for a total dividend payment of GH¢26.5 million cedis.

“This will represent a payment ratio of 90 per Profit After Tax transfer to regulatory and statutory reserves.”

According to Mr Mante, the Bank's deposit mobilisation yielded positive results with deposits growing by 56 per cent from GH¢438 million cedis to GH¢683 million cedis adding “the growth in deposits shows the confidence of the banking public in our bank”.

He told shareholders of amendments of regulations made by Council of the Exchange with effect from January, this year.

He said as part of the regulation, all new or additional security being listed should be electronic securities that had been admitted into the Ghana Stock Exchange Security Depository.

“The amendment of the regulations on the listed companies in compliance of the Exchange's request will enhance the rate at which securities are placed in the depository, make for more efficient and less cumbersome keeping of shareholders' records and ultimately improve liquidity in the capital market.”

Mr Mante therefore encouraged all shareholders to contact a stockbroker with their share certificates and have those share certificates placed in the Ghana Stock Exchange.

He further pledged the bank's commitment to always maximize the returns on shareholders' investments.

Mr Samuel Ashitey Adjei, Managing Director, Ecobank Ghana Limited, said the bank's prospect for growth in the Ghanaian economy remained high although the global financial crisis could scale down the growth rates.

Mr Adjei told the shareholders that the bank had expanded its branch network from 32 in 2007 to 44 in 2008 adding that they were sited at strategic locations in order to promote the bank's growth.

Mr Adjei announced that the bank has also established a Venture Capital subsidiary known as Ecobank Venture Capital Financing Company.

According to him the company had received the needed regulatory approval to commence business adding, it would begins its operation during the first half of the year.

At the end of the AGM, shareholders in their resolutions approved the payment of dividend of 0.16 per share.

They further authorized directors of the bank as part of the increase of the Stated Capital of the company to GH¢100 million cedis.

Shareholders also approved on the transfer of GH¢4.1 million cedis from the bank's Income Surplus to states Capital and issued proportionate terms in favour of shareholders on the Register of the Company as of March 19, this year with GH¢40,306,250 bonus shares be credited as paid for.