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ABC back in the black

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ATLAS Mara’s subsidiary, ABC Holdings, posted a $2,4 million profit for the period ending June 30 2017 compared to a half year loss of $3,2 million registered in the same period last year.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

The group’s net interest income of $66,3 million increased by 70% from $38, 9 million in the comparative period, as the group focused on reducing the cost of funds.

“Improved yields in Mozambique together with treasury bills from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which yielded a good return improved annuity income notably year on year,” the group said in a statement accompanying its half year results.

The financial services firm said non-interest income of $36,4 million grew by 2% on a constant currency basis year on year ,driven by continued strong forex trading performance, supporting customer’s businesses on import and export activities.

As of June 30, loans and advances have decreased to $1,13 billion from $1,2 billion in the same period last year.

The group’s deposits grew to $1,64 billion from $1,56 billion last year.

“The group made positive strides in growing transactional deposits and reducing more expensive term deposits. Transactional deposits grew from 34,8% in June 2016 to 45,6% as percentage of composition of total deposit book as at June 30 2017,” the group said.

The group said the credit impairment charge of $7,5 million for the period was lower than the $8,7 million in the comparative period, due to impairment recoveries in both Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Operating expenses increased from $72 million to $87 million during the comparable period.

The company said it closed its Johannesburg office as part of a restructuring exercise and moved all remaining staff to Botswana in line with its licensing requirements.

As the group moved from a centralised to a more decentralised structure, some countries increased their in country human resources to support local banking operations directly.

ABC Holdings revealed that IT costs increased by 53,7% year on year on a constant currency basis, as the group improved systems to support its digital and fintech strategy.

The group asset quality improved as total impairments reduced from $105,6 million to $92,8 million in the period under review.

“The group will continue to focus on increasing annuity income whilst maintaining a sustainable cost base that is in line with revenues. Utilisation of lines of credit obtained in the first of the year is also expected to see improved financial performance as the year progresses,” it said.

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