Friday, September 04, 2009

BancABC to open six retail branches on local market

BancABC to open six retail branches on local market
Written by Nchima Nchito Jr
Friday, September 04, 2009 5:01:02 PM

BANCABC has announced plans to open six new retail branches on the local market in the short term.

BancABC, formerly African Banking Corporation (ABC) , has a strong shareholding from Botswana entities, including Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM) and Debswana Pension Fund while the rest are foreign entities.

According to market reports, the bank intended to convert six branches of 18 of its micro lending outfit, Microfin, into retail branches of BancABC.

“We believe that Zambia is going to take most of our time and think that there are some opportunities there,” said BancABC’s chief executive officer, Douglas Munatsi.

And according to interim results for the first half of 2009, the bank increased its income across all operations and a particularly strong performance from BancABC’s operations in Mozambique ensured the group’s profitability.

“Recent increases in commodity prices are expected to begin positively impacting regional economies in the second half of 2009. In fact, the IMF [International Monetary Fund] is forecasting that sub-Saharan Africa will show economic growth of circa 1.5 per cent for 2009,” stated BancABC. “This contrasts strongly to the global economy which is forecast to contract by 1.4 per cent. In particular, the elimination of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe presents tremendous opportunities for strong growth in this country, albeit off a low base. Accordingly, the board and management are confident on the long term growth prospects for the region as well as the Group’s ability to prosper in it.”

Total income for the bank grew by a solid nine per cent but profits were curtailed by the dollarisation of the Zimbabwean economy and the cost implications thereof.

Returns to shareholders over the period were positive with attributable profit of 36.5 million Botswana pula (about K24 billion) and return on equity for the 12 months to June 2009 of 16 per cent.

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