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Equity Group Profit drops 14 per cent to Sh15 billion

WORK LIFE
By Fredrick Obura | November 12th 2020
Equity Group CEO James Mwangi (PHOTO: File)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Equity Group has recorded a 14 per cent decline in profit after tax in the third quarter of 2020 to Sh15 billion from Sh17.5 billion recorded the previous year same period.

The bank's net profit has been affected by the impact of the Corona Virus which is turning out to be a challenge in the banking industry.

The lender follows in the footsteps of KCB Group and National Bank of Kenya (NBK) that on Wednesday reported a drop in the profit after tax.

KCB Group's after-tax profit for the nine months ending September 2020 stood at Sh10.9billion, 43 per cent lower than the Sh19.2billion recorded last year. NBK on the other side recorded a 77 per cent decline in net profit to Sh87 million.

In a statement on Thursday, Equity Group said it has reported a 30 per cent growth in its loan book from Sh348.9 billion in September 2019 to Sh453.9 billion as of September 30 this year.

“We grew our loan book by 30 per cent year on year to support our customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversification in the COVID-19 environment. Most of the new opportunities we funded were in manufacturing of PPE’s, logistics, online businesses, agro-processing, fast-moving consumer goods, and agriculture value chains,” Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO.

Customer deposits he added registered a 45 per cent growth from Sh478 billion to Sh691 billion driven by 51 per cent growth in Uganda, 21 per cent growth in Kenya and an additional Sh130 billion from the acquisition of BCDC in DRC.

Loans to customers grew by 30 per cent driven by 37 per cent growth in Uganda, 19 per cent growth by Equity Bank Congo, 15 per cent growth in Rwanda, 15 per cent growth in Kenya and an additional Sh48.5 billion from the acquisition of BCDC in DRC.

The growth in capital weighted loan book and capital geared customer deposits was on the back of a 27 per cent growth in shareholders’ funds following the withdrawal of Equity Group Holdings’ 2019 dividend payout. The balance sheet of the Group grew by 38 per cent from Sh677.1 billion to reach Sh934 billion.

Mwangi said the Group’s acquisition of Congo’s Banqué Commerciale du Congo will help it grow its balance sheet to Sh1 trillion by the end of 2020 and diversify into a regional bank.

The deal between Equity’s operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and BCDC was completed in August and has accelerated the bank’s goal of having 40 per cent of its balance sheet outside of Kenya, Mwangi said.

“This year, 40 per cent of our assets will be outside, reducing the sovereign risk and truly becoming a regional bank,” he told Reuters on Wednesday.

“BCDC and Equity combined together would be a $2.5 billion balance sheet by the end of this year, and that is how we see a line of sight to a trillion shilling balance sheet by the end of this year.”

Additional reporting by Reuters

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