ECOBANK Zimbabwe managed to secure over $100 million in lines of credit from group associates last year for onlending towards the importation of fuel, fertilisers, mining equipment and edible oils raw materials, a senior official has said.
Presenting the bank’s 2017 year-end results, Ecobank chairman David Whatman said Zimbabwe continued to face foreign currency shortages hence the need to source lines of credit beyond the country’s borders to suport critical raw materials imports.
“Foreign currency availability continues to affect the economy as its supply is far short of demand.
“Ecobank Zimbabwe Limited accessed lines of credit from its associate group affiliates in excess of $100 million during the year. These lines were utilised to facilitate the importation of fuel, fertilisers, mining equipment and edible oils.
“The bank continues to leverage on the availability of these lines of credit to support trade finance funding within the sectors of the economy of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Whatman.
In terms of financial performance, the bank reported a 123,4 percent increase in profit after tax to $22 million in 2017 from $9, 9 million in 2016.
This was mainly attributed to a year- on year increase of 85,1 percent in net interest income added to a 48 percent year on year in non-interest income.
The increase in net interest income was due to increased investment in Treasury Bills to $185,2 million from $61,1 million last year.
Loans and advances also increased by 18,3 percent year on year basis.
The taxation expense increased by 168,6 percent over 2016 because of increased earnings and the full utilisation of prior year assessed loans.
Total assets grew by 38,3 percent to $546,8 million, reflecting both increased deposits and subsequent assets creation.
The bank’s core capital of $77,3 million reflects on year on year growth of 34,8 percent and is above the prescribed minimum levels and well ahead of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s approved capital plan.
The bank remained resilient in creating value for shareholders and clients within the pockets of existing and emerging opportunities in the economy.
The pan-African financial institution said capturing and delivering this value effectively and efficiently has resulted in all of the bank’s strategic key performance indicators trending positively.
The careful assessment of lending risk ensured that the quality of risk assets remained high during the period, with non- performing loans ratio reducing to 2,4 percent in 2017 from 3 percent in 2016.
Ecobank has also partnered with MasterCard for settlements in Zimbabwe. The project is underway and is expected to be launched in 2018.
The bank has sustained the issuance and acquiring of both MasterCard and Visa branded cards that have received universal acceptance.
The bank said its point of sale population has increased by 400 percent during the end of the year. The optimising existing branches for greater efficiency and leverage on digital banking channels to enhance customer service excellence.