By Gifty Arthur
The Managing Director (MD) of National Investment Bank (NIB, Ernest Mawuli Agbesi, has described 2015 as challenging one for the bank, but added that the strategic growth agenda, pursued by the Board and management of the institution, yielded positive results.
He said, the bank recorded significant improvement over previous years in all aspects, and “the net profit after tax stood at GH¢120.11 million for the year ending compared with GH¢79.39 million in 2014”.
According to him, in 2015 alone, 11 branches were opened, while an additional 22 is to be opened by 2017.
The NIB Board and Management, earned the commendation of its shareholders after they announced dividends at the bank’s 47th Annual General Meeting
(AGM) last Thursday.
The bank recorded GH¢79.39 million in 2014, as profits after tax, representing an increase of 106 percent over the previous year’s performance of GH¢38.52 million.
For the year 2015, it recorded profit after tax of GH120.11 million; an increase of 51.28 percent over the 2014 performance of GH¢79.39milion.
Credit impairment losses, according to the bank, fell to GH¢16.99 million from GH¢29.92 million in 2013, as the bank intensified its efforts to recover bad loans and improve on credit delivery.
It is the second time the bank is announcing dividend in recent times. It announced the first one, last year, after several years of being a non-profit making state bank.
The proposed dividend GH¢0.06 per share, is a 20 percent increment from last year’s, amounting to a total of GH¢ 11.773 million to be paid on July 15, 2016.
The shareholders, who heard the news for the first time said, though the amount involved was not big, they were happy their bank was showing signs of progress.
The shareholders, who took turns to express one opinion or the other said, from what they had read and heard, they were confident that in the years ahead, the bank would give even better dividends and rub shoulders with the so-called bigger banks
A pensioner, Joseph Abeka Biney, who first spoke after Board Chairman, Togbe Afede XIV read out his statement, said “you have surprised us” amidst applauds from colleague shareholders.
Mr. Biney, who looked very old and was aided to walk to speak, stated “we promise to support you (referring to management and the board). He showered praises saying “you are wonderful” and rhetorically asked “any challenger?”
He said, the bank’s balance sheet continue to show strength as it was announced, stakeholders’ funds grew by 11.57 percent to GH¢543.18 million from GHC486.82 million as at the end of 2014.
Similarly, total assets grew by 14.45 percent to GH¢2, 654.69 million , from GH¢2, 319.57 at the end of 2014, while the Capital Adequacy ratio of the Bank was 24.81 percent at the end of 2015, well above the minimum requirement of 10 percent.
Togbe Afede XIV, who presented the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ending December 31, 2015 said, the bank’s 2015 performance showed a consolidation and improvement on the gains and successes of the previous years, despite the severe economic challenges
“Thus, 2015 recorded an impressive increase in the after tax profit of the bank. I am happy to say that your Bank’s transformational agenda, is seriously on course and yielding fruitful results and that our objective to be among the top tier banks in Ghana is also on course”.
The bank, Togbe Afede said, achieved very impressive operational results announcing, total operating income for the year increased by 51.86 percent to GH¢348.83 million from GH¢229.70 million in 2014.
He said, the bank was in talks with the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to recover some moneys owed it from previous government years ago.
The board chairman, said these discussions with government were progressive and assured that, hopefully if such moneys are paid, the liquidity of the bank, will be enhanced, adding when this is achieved coupled with aggressive strategic plans, the bank will perform even better and yield more dividends.
“We have had important discussions with the Minister of Finance and Bank of Ghana and we expect that with their support which they have generously given, we will be able to inject more liquidity into the bank.
Certain loans contracted by government from the bank to enable the government provide proper equipment for contractors some years ago, some of those loans are still standing in our books. And so we have effectively, a contingent liability on them.
But the good news as I said is that, we have had serous conversations with government which is fully supporting the bank with the minister of finance at the forefront so have had very very strategic meetings with government”, he said
On the way forward, aside reiterating the bank’s intention to list on the stock exchange, he said it was aiming to be among the first five banks in the country
He said, “Our definition of top tier that we will normally use as the board, refers to being among the top five banks, that’s our aspiration.
You will realize that our profits have grown reasonably and that is why we are saying that that strategy is on course.
If you look at the performance of the various banks, last year compared to our performance, you will realize, we have done reasonably well. Our profits now are about half of what GCB made last year.
GCB for example made about GH¢254 million thereabout, we made GH¢120 million, about half compared to what we perceive about the relative size of these banks that’s indeed phenomenal”.