Equity Bank profit rises 22pc on cheap deposits
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- Equity Bank profit rises 22pc on cheap deposits
Equity Bank Monday announced a 22 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit helped by cheap deposits and lending income. The bank’s net profit stood at Sh3.21 billion in the three months to March compared to Sh2.63 billion in a similar period a year earlier as its lending income rose nine per cent to Sh7.98 billion. The bank benefited from low deposit regime that also lifted the earnings of rival lenders NIC Bank and Housing Finance (HF).
Equity’s costs of deposits dropped by Sh470 million in the quarter to Sh720 million despite the lender having gathered an additional Sh20 billion in new savings over the past year. Chief executive officer James Mwangi said he was upbeat about the bank’s prospects for the rest of the year after Kenya held peaceful elections in March, in contrast to the 2007 post-election violence that crippled east Africa’s biggest economy.
“That (peaceful vote) will nurture significant growth going forward,” Mr Mwangi told an investor briefing in Nairobi on Monday. Equity’s share at the Nairobi bourse has gained more than half over the past year to Sh31.25 a piece.
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