Ghana Commercial Bank expects 15% growth in balance sheet

Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) on Tuesday said it expected its balance sheet to grow by 15 per cent in 2011, despite declining interest rate.

Speaking at the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) ‘Facts behind the Figures’ programme, Mr Simon Dornoo, Managing Director said lower interest rate might affect revenue growth but was sure the bank would adopt innovative ways to scale the problem.

“We expect interest pressure to underlie revenue performance in 2011,” he told brokers and journalists on the GSE.

He said the general expectation was that interest rates would fall between three and four per cent during the year as market forces drive competition and funding cost to the banks become lower.

This, Mr Dornoo said, would have significant impact on the bank’s revenue and interest income.

He said the banking industry as a whole expected interest income might be down between 9.5 per cent and 13.5 per cent.

The Managing Director also forecast a sharp drop in the loan book to GH¢400 million from GH¢1 billion as a direct result of government’s repayment of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt, which financing alone constituted about 76 per cent of the portfolio.

“The refinancing of this has cut the bank’s exposure to about 35 per cent,” he said, adding that the bank would overtime grow the loan book.

To offset declining revenue, he said it would focus on fees income through a boost in consumer lending and also a reduction in cost of operations.

Other priorities designed to deliver short-term profit commitments and lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth include investment in service delivery, improvement in risk management and increases in lending volumes in consumer banking, small and medium enterprises.

In 2010 saw the bank’s profit before tax leapt 343 per cent to GH¢91 million and income up 64 per cent to GH¢330 million.

Source: GNA

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