The management of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc yesterday (August 14) disclosed ongoing plans to increase its loan book by 10% before the end of 2018. This will be achieved by making use of the bank’s cash deposits.
This development follows the tier 1 bank’s credit decline in the first half of the year. Specifically, GTBank’s loans declined by 11% in the first half of 2018. Prior to the recent decline, the bank also recorded a 9% decrease in loans in 2017.
Why this is an important move for the bank
Reuters quoted GTBank’s CEO, Segun Agbaje, as saying that the bank could potentially earn between 7-9% on loans, as against cash deposits in foreign banks which earn below 2%. By boosting loans, the bank will also compensate for recorded drops in yield from treasury investments.
The bank had recorded a decline in its interest income in the first half of the year, a sharp contrast to the impressive performance recorded in 2017 when the bank earned as much as N66 billion from similar investments.
How is the proposed plan going to work out?
According to Agbaje, GTBank will take out about $700 million or $800 million from its foreign deposits and dedicate the money towards boosting its loan capabilities. This will enable the bank to take advantage of projected growth this year, as the Nigerian economy continues to show improved recovery from recession.
Many more lenders are also expected to grow their loan capabilities this year.
Meanwhile, the bank’s CEO is also optimistic that they “will still see some growth in their upstream (oil and gas) book.” This is in line with the bank’s ongoing efforts to increase profit from its other subsidiaries by 20%, especially its operation in East Africa. So far, the bank’s subsidiaries account for only 12% of its profit.
As we reported, the bank reported a 13.6% increase in its profit after tax for the first half of 2018. Its interest income dropped from N165 billion in 2017 to N161 billion in 2018. This represents a 2.42% drop year on year.
GTBank is one of the most profitable banks in Nigeria, as well as one of the best-performing stocks in the history of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Today, its shares are currently trading at N38.25.