Tease (E/R), March 1, GNA - The Afram Rural Bank Limited made a net profit of 298 million cedis in 2003 as against the 192 million cedis it recorded the previous year. The profit ends 10 years of persistent losses, Mrs Dorvlo Asihene, Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the Bank, said at an Annual General Meeting to review activities for 2003. She said the Bank immensely benefited from 108 million cedis recapitalisation fund it received from UNICEF and Freedom From Hunger (FFH) project, a local Non-governmental Organisation.
Mrs Asihene said the Bank's deposits rose from 1,794 billion cedis in 2002 to 2,313 billion cedis in 2003 while its investment also went up from 1,092 billion in 2002 to 2,4426 million cedis the previous year. She said the Bank granted 1,287 billion cedis micro-finance loans while its share capital rose from 33 million cedis in 2002 to 76 million cedis in 2003, representing an increase of 110 per cent. Mrs Asihene said the total assets of the Bank rose from 3.58 billion cedis in 2002 to 71 billion cedis in 2003.
The Executive Director of FFH, Mr Francis Beinpuo, urged the Bank to diversify its investment portfolio since conventional loans were plagued with high delinquency. In an address read on his behalf, the Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, Limited, Mr Emanuel Kwapong said the Apex Bank was concern with the building of the capacity of the rural banks.