Banks could benefit from decline in Interest rates – Andani

Mr Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Ghana, has noted that, banks could gain from the decline in interest rates, as lower cost of borrowing spur growth in economic activities.

He said the fall was likely not to affect banks income if businesses took the opportunity of the low borrowing cost to expand their operations, and the banks would then be in the position to increase their loan volumes to generate more income.

Mr Andani was speaking to journalists on issues covering the bank’s performance, interest rates and the economy.

He was positive about the economy, adding that, the oil and gas sector would add the needed impetus for accelerated growth, given the instability in the middle-east and the growing demand for oil that was being fuelled by rapid development in Asia.

Mr Andani said government’s strenuous efforts to ensure that Ghanaians participate fully in the oil industry was a good step and would help spur growth across the country.

Besides, the telecommunication and agricultural sectors, the rising price of gold would lend support to the economy in the year.

The managing director said the bank would this year; allocate an amount of $ 10 million to be disbursed to small scale farmers, under the banks agric support scheme.

The move he said was to boost agricultural production and ensure food security in the country.

Mr Andani was optimistic that the country would not run large deficits like what plagued it in the past, as the performance of the different sectors was likely to prop up growth.

On the performance of the cedi against major currencies, Mr Andani said the depreciation of the cedi would be muted by the close of year, propped up by the general healthy inflows of foreign earnings.

Mr Andani said Stanbic Bank performed extremely well in 2010, as a result of government payment of some monies owed to contractors, good returns on bonds and generally, treasury investments strong performance across all loans portfolio.

Net profit was up 14 percent to GH¢19.1 million while net interest income rose to GH 59.3 million from GH¢42.3 million.

He said the Bank had also fully met its capitalization, and that its strong capital base puts it in a good position to deliver in 2011, as the first quarter results showed that the bank was above target.

Source: GNA

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