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Retail banking drives ABC profit


ABC Holdings Limited’s profit for the half year to June more than doubled to Botswana Pula 128,5 million (BWP) compared with the same period last year, driven by a strong growth in net interest income from its retail banking unit in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Tarisai Mandizha

The Botswana Stock Exchange-listed financial services group said its net interest income increased by 74% to P476 million during the period under review.

In a statement accompanying the group’s financial results, ABC Holdings chairman Howard Buttery said the retail banking segment was the major driver for the growth experienced during the period under review.

“This business has now achieved critical mass in BancABC Botswana, BancABC Zambia and BancABC Zimbabwe. As a result the three subsidiaries posted very strong sets of results.

“BancABC Mozambique is profitable, but current period performance was hampered by costs of expansion into the retail space which will only start contributing to revenue in the coming period,” Buttery said.

“BancABC Tanzania continues to be a challenge for the group. However, substantial progress has been made in cleaning up the balance sheet and the business has recently been recapitalised.”

ABC Holdings attributable profits to shareholders grew by 157% to BWP143 million for the year ended June 2013 from P56 million in 2012.

The group pre-tax profit increased by 77% to P169 million for the year ended June 30, 2013 as compared to P96 million in prior year.

Buttery said the balance sheet growth was muted largely due to a deliberate policy to slow down on lending and manage the group’s liquidity position more conservatively.

The group’s net impairments were 351% up to BWP 146 million.
“BWP129 million of this charge was in respect of three clients, with one in each of Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique. The balance of BWP17 million was largely from portfolio impairments driven by the growth in the loan,” Buttery said.

Buttery said operating expenditure increased by 40% to BWP 529 million for the year ended June 30, 2013 as compared to BWP379 million recorded in 2012 due to expansion in retail banking footprint.

He said non-interest income was up by 58% to BWP371 million underpinned by an increase in transaction volumes across all subsidiaries.

“BancABC Zambia had the largest growth on the back of an increase in customer number in consumer lending as well as increased bond trading income,” Buttery said.

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