Equity Bank’s first quarter profit drops to Sh4.9 billion

NAIROBI, KENYA: Equity Bank on Thursday announced a 6 percent drop in first quarter profit to Sh4.9b compared to Sh5.1 billion same period last year.

During the same period, pretax profit fell 5 percent to Sh6.9 billion ($66.87 million) from 7.3 billion a year earlier.

On Wednesday, the second largest bank by asset announced closure of more than half of its branches in South Sudan citing unfavorable economic environment.

“A cautious approach in credit underwriting because of inability to price risk saw the loan book decline by 5 percent from Sh275billion to Sh262billion. The increase in funding was invested in government securities which on a risk adjusted basis currently yields similarly to loans, and yielded about 12 percent,” said CEO James Mwangi.

Government securities grew by 81 percent from Sh 62 billion to Sh 113billion with the highest growth experienced in Kenya where government securities grew by 154 percent from Sh42billion to Sh105 billion.

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