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23.04.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana Commercial Bank reviews assets portfolio

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Accra, April 23, GNA - Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) is undertaking a review of its entire assets portfolio and pricing options to ensure that investment in securities, which are sensitive to inflation do not impact negatively on the Bank's income targets.

Speaking at the 'Facts Behind the Figures Programme' on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) on Friday, Mrs Matilda Obeng-Ansong, Managing Director, said the Bank was restructuring its rate sensitive assets in response to the steady fall in inflation and interest rates to put it in a better position to deal with any shock that might emanate from them.

"This is to make it possible for us to remain focus on our targets," she said.

The programme on the GSE provides listed companies the opportunity to explain to Brokers, Journalists and the public reasons behind their annual performances.

Mrs Obeng-Ansong said the Bank would concentrate its efforts in mobilizing savings deposits since it remained the relatively stable form of all traditional deposits.

The Managing Director said the Bank was being repositioned in line with its new vision to offer strong support for businesses, especially the small and medium scale enterprises to improve their profitability. "Export financing is also another business area of strategic focus for the ensuing months and years", she said.

On the question of petroleum products imports, Mrs Obeng-Ansong said the Bank would continue to finance the importation of petroleum products.

However, she said it would strive to balance the country's fuel needs and the financial benefits to the Bank from such transactions.

"We have positioned ourselves to respond to the deregulation of the fuel/petroleum products sub-sector such that we continue to maintain a substantial portion of that market."

Mrs Obeng-Ansong said she was confident that with strategic efforts, the Bank would post a favourable result this year, citing the 53 per cent growth in profit and the strong performance of deposits, loans and total assets for the first quarter of this year.

She said the Bank was also placing emphasis on expense efficiency in view of falling interest rates and dwindling margins to enhance profitability.

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