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Access Bank announces 16% loan increase

By on March 28, 2011

Access Bank Plc’s loans to borrowers have risen by 16 per cent in 2010, boosted by lending to corporate clients, the Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Mr. Seyi Kumapayi, has said.

He said, “Access Bank reduced its non-performing loan ratio to 8.1 per cent in 2010, from 19 per cent a year earlier,” adding that the bank planned to lower it to 7.5 per cent in 2011.”

Access Bank was one of the banks that sold bad debts to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria last year. AMCON, which was set up by the government to buy debts from banks, bought N13.2bn of non-performing loans from the bank in the first phase of AMCON’s purchase of bad loans.

The bank, last week, reported a pre-tax profit of N16.2bn for the year through December, below a median estimate of N16.4bn by five analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Kumapayi pointed out that the bank had embarked on a cost- cutting process that would return it to profitability in 2011.

Bloomberg quoted an email by the bank as saying, “Aggregate contributions to group profit before tax by subsidiaries was negative due to provisions on loans particularly in Cote d’Ivoire.”

The bank said in a separate statement on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website that the bank returned to profit in the year, reporting net income of N11.1bn from a loss of N4.4bn recorded a year earlier.

Access has units in Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia and Ghana. Others are in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom and Zambia, according to its website.

The bank said, “Nigeria accounted for 94 per cent of the profit before tax last year. Three countries were profitable, with three others recording marginal losses.”

The stock fell a second day, losing 26 kobo, or 2.9 per cent, to N8.64pm on Friday. The bank’s shares has fallen 9.1 per cent this year, under-performing the NSE’s All-Share Index, which has gained 0.4 per cent, Bloomberg said.

Source : Punch