By Dipo Olowookere
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, has dismissed insinuations that the introduction of telecommunications companies into the banking sector would be a huge threat to the financial institution.
While answering one of the questions asked by Business Post during an analyst call in Lagos on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Agbaje said he sees the likes of MTN Nigeria, Airtel Africa and others coming into the industry as competitors rather than enemies who could be seen as threats.
“I would rather say the telcos are coming into the banking industry to make the market more competitive and not as threats,” Mr Agbaje told analysts at the over one hour conference call yesterday put together to highlight the performance of the lender in the first half of this year.
When further asked by Business Post if GTBank was ready to wrestle with MTN Nigeria in the business, knowing the telecom’s ability to conquer its area of operations and maintain a leading position, Mr Agbaje said, “GTBank is well-prepared to face any competition and succeed.”
Business Post reports that in H1 2019, GTBank posted a profit before tax of N115.8 billion, representing a growth of 5.6 percent over N109.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018, while the bank’s loan book grew by 1.0 percent from N1.262 trillion recorded as at December 2018 to N1.274 trillion in June 2019, with customer deposits increasing by 6.3 percent to N2.418 trillion from N2.274 trillion in December 2018.
In addition, the bank closed the half year ended June 2019 with total assets of N3.598 trillion and shareholders’ funds of N603.0 billion.
In terms of asset quality, NPL ratio and Cost of Risk improved to 6.8 percent and 0.2 percent in June 2019 from 7.3 percent and 0.3 percent in December 2018 respectively.
Overall, asset quality remains stable with adequate coverage of 84.7 percent, while capital remains strong with CAR of 23.5 percent.
On the backdrop of this result, Return on Equity (ROAE) and Return on Assets (ROAA) stood at 33.7 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.
As a result of its impressive performance, the bank’s board proposed the payment of an interim dividend of 30 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each for period ended June 30, 2019.
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