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11.09.2005 Business & Finance

SARB records increases in its portfolios


Nankese (E/R), Sept 11, GNA - The South Akim Rural Bank (SARB) based at Nankese near Suhum has recorded increases in its business portfolio despite a reduction in its profit from over 1.682 billion to 857, 240 million cedis in 2004.

The 49 per cent decrease in profit before tax was due mainly to the falling interest rates and discount earnings from government bonds and treasury bills since 2003.

Opanin Kwasi Gyasi, the Chairman of the bank's Board of Directors, said this at the bank's 20th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Nankese on Saturday.

He mentioned that total income increased from 4.8 billion cedis in 2003 to 5.6 billion cedis in 2004, total assets of the bank raised from 23.6 billion cedis to 34.3 billion cedis, while investment increased from 9.4 billion cedis in 2003 to 12 billion cedis.

Deposits increased from 20.7 billion cedis to 27.8 billion cedis, an increase of 34 per cent, advances rose from 7 billion cedis to 10.1 billion cedis, 44.3 per cent and ordinary share capital moved from 424.9 million cedis to 528.1 million cedis and shareholders' Funds increased from 3 billion cedis to 3.7 billion cedis, an increase of 23.3 per cent. On the bank's 10.1-billion-cedi advance portfolio, Opanin Gyasi listed commerce as taking 3,387.4 billion cedis, transport 1,220 billion cedis, agriculture 164.5 million cedis, 1.7 per cent, while others took about 5,000 billion cedis, 49 per cent.

He said the bank, which was listed among Ghana's Club 100 in 2003, had initiated an expansion programme and an agency had been opened at Osenasi, near Asamankese in February with another one to be at Adoagyiri, while a Susu Scheme introduced last March raked in 1.3 billion cedis.

He said the computerization of the bank's branches had started at Koforidua and Nankese with computers been purchased for a Local Area Networks.

On its social responsibility, Opanin Gyasi said the bank donated water pumps for wells/boreholes at Nankese, Suhum and Asamankese while it continued to fund educational projects including the award of scholarships to 17 students at 3.5 million-cedi each and provision of stationery and school bags, television sets/video decks and school uniforms to pupils within its catchments area.

In an address read on behalf of the ARB Apex Bank, the head of Training Department, Mr Richard Mettle Addo, noted with satisfaction the bank's continued growth and prosperity of the communities within its operation since its establishment.

He mentioned the provision of educational support, street lighting, health and loans to various sectors of the economy that were helping to improve the living conditions of the people. On the falling interest rates and Treasury Bills on the banking sector, Mr Addo, "your best bet at sustaining operations is to lend to your customers and be able to recover principal plus interest and increase deposits accounts through various initiatives."

Mr Addo reminded the shareholders that the banking sector was undergoing some important changes that in the long run would enhance operational efficiency and improve service delivery.

He mentioned some of the changes as the on-going computerization of rural banks, saying the over 4,300 staff of the banks will be trained to be computer literate from October. 11 Sept 05