There is no immediate plan to relist African Banking Corporation Holdings (ABCH) Limited on the stock exchange, BancABC Botswana Managing Director Jitto Kurian said on Wednesday. The group, which operates BancABC in five Southern African countries, delisted from the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) about a year ago following a takeover by Atlas Mara. Kurian was speaking during the presentation of the bank’s full year results for BancABC Botswana. He said the bank has identified opportunities that it looks to explore, particularly that, BancABC, he says has set the tone in how the banking industry functions. Kurian said currently the banking industry is more skewed to retail banking and as BancABC they would like to have a 40-60 percent split between retail and commercial and aim for a 50-50 percent in the long run. With regards to the outlook, Kurian said they are considering bond issuing with initial offering set at P250 million with the intention to take it to P500 million over time.
The bank, according to Kurian, would enhance its delivery channels and introduce cash deposit and foreign currency dispensing machines. Kurian said they aim to do that before the end of the second half and would in addition intensify their focus on transactional and corporate banking. Meanwhile the bank recorded profit increase of 68 percent to P120.2 million. The growth is attributed to a number of factors that include loan book growth which increased by 44 percent. Overall, BancABC Net Interest Income increased by (2) two percent while Non-Interest Income grew by 53 percent on the backdrop of increases in customer numbers and transactional volumes. BancABC Botswana’s loan impairment charges decreased by 95 percent which is said to have been influenced by recoveries on corporate loan exposures during the year, which were provided in the prior year.
On the other hand, operating expenses went up by 39 percent due to investments in e-channels, automation of processes and improving governance structures.
Kurian said the bank has been able to grow from where it was when they entered commercial banking space in 2010 due to a combination of factors such as fresh thinking, clear strategy and vision. He said the key factor in such growth was the acquisition by Atlas Mara which has allowed BancABC to tap the group’s expertise. Kurian said the acquisition has been able to let the bank harness critical resources in order to catalyse growth. Kurian reckoned the introduction of new products and services and the enhancement of existing offerings are improving their value proposition.
“This has put the bank in good stead to continue on its growth trajectory,” Kurian said.