Ecobank optimistic on bank’s growth, profitability
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has assured shareholders of a bright future that will guarantee shareholders’ value and higher benefits for all stakeholders.
Speaking at a reception in Lagos with shareholders recently, the Chairman of the bank, Emmanuel Ikazoboh, who described Ecobank as the pride of Africa, with best talents on the continent that have the passion and commitment to excel as a world-class financial institution. “Through our board, management and staff, we have an unparalleled passion and commitment to excel as a world-class financial institution,” he said.
According to Ikazoboh, the ETI Board of Directors continues to implement a strict 51-point corporate governance action plan approved by shareholders last year in compliance with the recommendations of a joint report by Nigeria’s Securities & Exchange Commission and professional services firm KPMG.
“We have substantially concluded much of this exercise, and whatever areas there are that are outstanding are receiving adequate attention. We expect to complete them as soon as possible.”
He added that the governance structure at the board of director’s level was also being reviewed to produce an oversight architecture that would enable the board to be most effective in executing its oversight and reform agenda for ETI.
The chairman told shareholders that their investment in the bank had seen appreciable growth from June 30, 2014 to May 11, 2015.
According to him, the share price increased from N16.89 to N23.27 within the period, representing a 37.8 percent increase.
“Cost efficiency with cost income ratio has gone down from over 70 percent a year ago to about 62.7 percent as at the first quarter of 2015 and is still going down,” Ikazoboh noted. “Our return on equity has improved markedly from 15 percent in 2014 to 19 percent in this first quarter and still increasing.”
The chairman explained that the group’s non-performing loan ratio had dropped to less than four percent, adding that the bank intended to lay a solid balance-sheet foundation to ensure that it consolidates on the strong performance in a sustainable manner.
He explained that the goal was to replicate as well as improve on this in the future. The chairman said that some key decisions had been made this year to sustain this performance on the capital appreciation side of shareholders’ equity portfolio.
The ETI chairman said the Ecobank Group would continue to be an independent pan- African institution owned by Africans and other investors who subscribe to the pan African ideals of the company. “The ETI board of directors is strongly determined that your bank be the star performer you have always envisioned it to be.
“ We shall take some difficult decisions in the short-term but we are confident that these decisions will reap benefits in the immediate future,” he stressed.
Ikazoboh thanked the shareholders for their support, while urging them to continue to support Ecobank Group’s quest to become the Pan-African banking champion.