Mr. Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, has expressed optimism that 2018 financial year would be a much better for the bank notwithstanding the current state of Nigeria’s economic.
Agbaje who made the statement at the weekend in Lagos while briefing journalists on the bank’s recently released audited financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017, noted “that efficient capital allocation to business segments with low risk and optimal returns complements the effective balance sheet management with the resultant strong earnings as evidenced by impressive ROAE;ROAA, NIMS, capital returns and improved capital buffers posted by the Group as at December 31, 2017”.
He said the bank posted positive performance across all financial indices, despite the challenging environment.
He posited that the bank would tread carefully because “the growth is still very slow and the monetary policy is still tight.”
The growth was driven by the rise in interest income and revenues from e-payment. Profit before tax stood at N200.2billion, representing a growth of 21.3 per cent over N165.1billion recorded in the 2016 financial year.
The bank’s loan book dipped by 8.9 per cent from N1.590trillion in December 2016 to N1.449trillion in December 2017 while customer deposits increased by 3.8 per cent to N2.062trillion from N1.986trillion in December 2016.
The GTB boss said the loan book contracted by 8.9 per cent “due to the cautious effort to de-risk the balance sheet, repayment of US dollar term loans and unwinding of US dollar trade obligations.”
He further explained that the US dollar repayments led to increased dollar liquidity, which contributed to 41 per cent growth in cash and cash equivalents from N455billion in 2016 to N641billion in 2017.
Total assets stood at 3.9 per cent, while shareholders’ funds rose to ₦625.2billion. In terms of assets quality, non-performing loan ratio (NPL) grew to 7.7 per cent in December 2017 from 3.7 per cent in 2016 financial year.
Agbaje, however, explained that NLPs would moderate to 4.6 per cent, below regulatory threshold, if the 9mobile loan was excluded from NPL ratio computation.
The bank in a recent notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said its board of directors would meet on April 18, 2018 to consider its financial statements.