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31.05.2006 Business & Finance

Trust Bank, Gambia, bounces back in performance


Accra, May 31, GNA - The Trust Bank, Gambia, on Wednesday said it was now poised to create a strong brand in the West Africa Sub-Region following a resounding performance in the first quarter of 2006.

The Bank, with 940 shareholders including institutions in the Gambia and Ghana, said it had recovered from its poor performance of 18 per cent drop in profit before and after tax for the year 2005. Profits before tax dipped at 3.67 million dollars in 2005 from 7.70 million dollars in 2004.

Providing details on Wednesday during the "Facts behind the Figurers" at the Ghana Stock Exchange, Dr Ken Ofori-Atta, Chairman of the Bank, mentioned loan default, declining interest rates and huge investments in the Bank's software programme as reasons for the drop in the performance.

He said the Trust Bank's operating profits shot up by 47 per cent in the first quarter of 2006.

Dr Ofori-Atta described 2005 as a traumatic year for the Bank but expressed optimism that with the 2006 first quarter achievements and re-structuring of loan portfolio and adoption of prudent measures, the future was now bright.

He said the Gambian economy was now stable given its key macro-economic indicators performance.

Mr Pa N. M. Njie, Managing Director of the Bank, said the TBL, Gambia, aimed at forming a joint venture partnership and to expand its operations in the West Africa Sub-Region. "The Bank is poised to repeat what we know and do best - create a strong brand and reposition TBL as the leading banker's in The Gambia," he said.

The Bank, which was listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange in November 2002 as the only company from Sub-Region, currently has its share price at 27,000 cedis.

Mr Ekow Afedzie, General Manager of the GSE, said the Exchange was adopting measures to harmonise the rules of the market so as to encourage prospective investors to take advantage of other stock markets within the Sub-Region.

He said the GSE was improving on its database and information flow so as to enable brokers, investors and other players in the stock exchange to be well informed.