The success during GTP I is clear and CBE intends to repeat the performance in GTP II

By Brook Abdu |

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) reported what it called a very successful five year performance in the first Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP I), with its cumulative gross profits reaching to 42.8 billion Br and loan disbursements of 321.9 billion Br. Its gross profit in the first year of the GTP was just 3.2 billion Br.

The Bank, which has increased its deposits from 56 billion Br at the start of GTP I to 241.7 billion Br at the end, mainly funds mega public projects, according to the bank officials who spoke to journalists at a press conference held at the Bank’s head office located along Sudan Street, on August 28 2015.

“We mainly fund government projects; our loans are inclined towards government but this will be mitigated, as in the long run we work on collection of long term loan distribution,” said Ephrem Mekuria, Communications director at the Bank.

The Bank’s deposits in the fiscal year 2014/15 grew by 48 billion Br, making an addition to the 193 billion Br in the previous year.

CBE disbursed 322 billion Br in loans to public projects and collected 158.3 billion Br during the period, the press statement said.

The Bank has collected 24.9 billion dollars in hard currency during the five years, mainly from remittances. From the 5.8 billion dollars foreign currency that it collected in the 2014/15 fiscal year, 4.8 billion dollars was from remittances, while 973 million dollars was gained from export. Foreign currency collection has been growing by 18pc a year in the past five years, according to Ephrem, starting with 2.67 billion dollars in the first year.

“We are increasing the number of money transfer operators through time and we are expanding remittance access to all of our branches to get the customers,” Ephrem explained.

But Yisihak Mengesha, the Bank’s chief business development officer, sees that remittances that come through the informal way are about the same amount as those that come through the formal system.

“It is only half of the remittance that is coming through the banks and still there is a huge amount that comes through travellers,” he said. “We encourage our customers to transfer their money through the formal way.”

CBE currently has total assets of 303.6 billion Br and capital of 13 billion Br, up from 74.2 billion Br and 5.5 billion Br in the first year, respectively.

Currently, CBE has 965 branches across the country with 745 of them opened in the five- year period of GTP I. Out of these branches 886 are connected by the core banking system.

By the end of the 2014/15 fiscal year, the Bank’s account holders totaled 10.7 million, of which only 1.6 million are using ATM cards, with 630,601 new customers taking the card in the last year.

The Bank has 644 automated teller machines and 1,866 point of sale machines.

CBE, which aspires to become an internationally competitive commercial bank by 2025, also plans to continue this way in the coming five years of the second GTP (GTP II).

“Our plan in the past five years was very ambitious and we were doubting whether we could achieve it or not but we did it. Now we plan to go the same way for the next five years,” said Yisihak.

The Bank’s draft Growth and Transformation Plan for the next five years up to 2020 is tabled for approval by its Board of Directors.

Source: Addis Fortune
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