Ecobank Ghana is most profitable of ETI group

Mr. Arnold Ekpe – Group CEO of ETI

…country’s political stability credited

Ecobank Ghana is the most profitable among the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) group.

The Group CEO of the trans-continental bank, with branches in 35 African countries, Mr. Arnold Ekpe said in an exclusive interview with that the Ghana branch is the most profitable in Africa, because it is well managed.

And asked what has accounted to the profitability of the bank, he said, “I think it is also because Ghana is a well ran country and it is stable.”

He said Ecobank Ghana made a profit of $78 million in 2011 and the acquisition of The Trust Bank (TTB) has pushed it up making it the largest bank in Ghana with 80 branches across the country.

Ecobank acquired a 100% share in TTB Ghana, in a deal worth $135 million.

The bank held its 24th Annual General Meeting June 15, 2012 in the Togolese capital, Lome where it has its headquarters.

Shareholders, of the bank will be paid 44 US cents in dividends this year.

On Africa’s integration and its benefit for businesses including Ecobank in Africa, he said, “I have been very much an advocate of integration. If integration works in Africa, it doesn’t work only for Ecobank, It works for everybody.”

He however, expressed concern about the fact that the cost of doing business in Africa is unduly high.

“Even within ECOWAS, which says it allows the free movement of people, you still have to have your passport stamped at every country. If you look at the cedi, CFA and the naira, you still have exchange controls,” he said.

He urged African governments to think of what is good for the people and integrate.

“The problem is, the governments talk about integration, but they don’t do it. There is no action on integration,” he said.

Speaking about exchange control, he said, that is a policy issue and countries don’t need to go to parliament to change that. He cited examples of countries like Liberia and Zambia that do not have exchange controls.

“The issue about visas is also a policy issue. If a country says you don’t need a visa to come in, that is it,” he said.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, back from Lome, Togo

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