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Equity Group posts Kes8.84Bn in Q1 profits

The bank, which also operates in Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, made pretax profit of up to USD87.44 million. (PHOTO/COURTESY)

Kenya’s Equity Group Holdings Thursday posted a pretax profit rise of 6 percent its first quarter, buoyed by higher interest income.

The bank, which also operates in Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, made pretax profit of up to KSh8.84 billion shillings (USD87.44 million).

Net interest income by the lender rose to KSh10.4 billion from KSh9.8 billion while non-funded income was up 7 per cent to KSh7.2 billion.

James Mwangi, its chief executive officer, told an investor briefing the bank’s loans rose 13 per cent to Sh305.5 billion and forecasts full-year loan growth to be in a 10 to 15 per cent range. The bank expects its subsidiaries to account for 20-25 percent of full-year pretax profit, having contributed 17 per cent in the first quarter, Mwangi said.

Equity Group’s banking business in Kenya provides the bulk of profits but subsidiaries in other countries in east and central Africa are providing substantial contributions to its growth.

In late April, the bank said it had entered a deal with London-listed financial services firm Atlas Mara Limited to buy stakes in banks in Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, part of a strategy to expand beyond central and eastern Africa.

It also agreed a partnership with Kenya’s largest telecom operator Safaricom to expand their digital financial businesses.

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