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Expanding loan book buoys profits at Equity Bank

17 April 2014, 12:53

Nairobi - Equity Bank's first-quarter pretax profit was up 21 percent at 5.4 billion shillings ($62.14 million), lifted by growth in its loan book, the bank said on Thursday.

Equity, which operates in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan, said its net loans and advances to customers rose 28 percent to 179.3 billion shillings, with its expansion plans focused on phone banking.

"It will be driven by technology, not on brick and mortar. People ... want services on the phone," Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi told an investor briefing in Nairobi.

The bank's cost-to-income ratio fell to 48.7 percent in the first quarter from 50 percent in the same period a year before.

Customer deposits rose 18 percent to 206.6 billion shillings.

The bank released its results before the stock market opened. Shares in Equity closed at 32.25 shillings on Wednesday.

 - Reuters


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