Ecobank China desk rakes in $100 million investment

Ecobank’s China Desk has raked in some $100 million worth of investments, an official of the bank has said. The Ecobank China Desk, which began operations last year, is aimed at easing the flow of Chinese loans for projects as well as boosting trade between the two continents Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana, Sam Adjei told shareholders at the bank’s Annual General Meeting that the establishment of the desk had been a worthwhile exercise and had helped break the language barrier between businesses. The China desk manned by two Chinese staff from the Bank of China and a Ghanaian also provide a range of services including advisory, wealth management and corporate client account services. Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, Board Chairman of Ecobank Ghana, told shareholders that processes to fully integrate The Trust Bank (TTB) into the Ecobank Group were on going and could be completed by June. The processes include the consolidation of the banking platform, legal processes of the merger and the rebranding of TTB branches. Mr Dosoo said Ecobank Ghana continued its strong performance in 2011 with an impressive profit after tax of GH 72.4 million, reflecting an increase of 20 percent compared to 60.1 million in 2010. Total income increased by 30 percent to GH234.5 million from 180 million, with most of the revenue lines contributing to the growth. He said there was also an impressive growth in total assets by 40 percent to GH2.1 billion from 1.5 billion the previous year. Ecobank also mobilized 1.6 billion in customers deposit, representing a growth of 44 percent over 1.1 billion for the same period of last year while loans and advances grew by 71 percent to GH850 million. Mr Dosoo said Provision for credit losses increased marginally on a comparable basis by GHS0.4million, or 7%, to GHS6.2million, while the non-performing loan ratio was only 0.66%, which was one of the lowest in the industry and showed the soundness and quality of the bank’s asset books. Mr Dosoo said Ecobank Ghana achieved all the impressive results despite the stiff competition in the banking sector and pledged to continue having intimate connection with customers for quality services. “Although the industry is becoming increasingly competitive, Ecobank, as a strong bank, will remain unmatched in scale, expertise and talent,” he said. Shareholders approved 0.24 cedis dividend per share.