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Stanchart to focus on corporate and retail volume to boost profit

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Standard Chartered Bank says it would focus on growing its corporate and retail volume to boost profits as net interest income diminishes due to the declining trend in interest rates.

The bank, which is lowering its base rate to 16.95 per cent effective October, said a key to success would be to leverage on its diversified range of products and income streams as well as to identify significant opportunities for profitable growth.

Mr Kwaku Bedu-Addo, Chief Executive Officer of Stanchart, said the decision to reduce the base rate was influenced by the positive general macro-economic stability, drop in inflation and the stability of the cedi against its international peers.

He said the drop in the lending rate was a signal for businesses to invest in the long-term and create employment opportunities.

Mr Bedu-Addo said the banking landscape as well as the competition in Ghana had markedly changed over the past five years but the bank had demonstrated a resilient and diverse growth in the first half of the year.

“Going forward our strategy remains unchanged; we aim to become the best international bank, leading the way in Ghana,” he told brokers and journalists at the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) ‘Facts behind the Figures’ in Accra.

The bank’s profit grew by nine per cent to GH¢39.2 million in the first six months to June while income climbed by four per cent with strong momentum across products.

Wholesale banking profit also grew by eight per cent to record GH¢43.4 million, and Consumer banking also delivered 12.7 per cent profit growth to GH¢12.6 million.

Mr Bedu-Addo said the client income remained strong and the deal pipelines were robust, and added that client income would continue to be the driver of growth in the second half of 2011, on the back of sustained growth in commercial banking.

There will also be focus on growing customers and trying to sustain relationships to maintain them, as well as expand the product set by employing international expertise into the market.

Mr Bedu-Addo said the bank anticipated continued drive in both businesses with cost remaining well controlled, benefitting in part by a moderation in integration costs associated with the Barclays custody acquisition in Ghana.

Mr Sanjay Rughani, Executive Director (Finance) said many things had changed overtime, especially the decline in interest rates and the stability of the cedi was making it difficult to sustain past growth levels.

Source: GNA

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