NCBA Group has disclosed plans to expand to Ghana as the tier-one bank eyes a piece of the West African market.
NCBA Group MD John Gachora stated that they were in talks with a lender in the country on a potential partnership. He, however, did not reveal the name of the Ghanaian bank.
In particular, NCBA is keen on offering digital micro-lending services in Ghana. Mobile lending services offered in partnership with Safaricom in Kenya have been among the bank’s key revenue drivers in recent years.
“We’re actually looking into having something (in Ghana) this year…We are working with a local bank, and hopefully we should be launching something there soon,” Gachora told Bloomberg.
The bank notably already has a muted presence in West Africa, in Ivory Coast where it offers micro-lending services in partnership with a unit of MTN.
Gachora confirmed the move after the firm reported a strong performance for the full year ended December 2021, with profit after tax rising by more than double to Ksh10.2 billion from Ksh4.57 billlion.
The firm indicated that it would pursue strategic opportunities to expand market share.
Profit before tax rose to Ksh15.03 billion in 2021 up from Ksh4.98 billion the previous year.
The bank declared a final dividend of Ksh2.25 per share, up from Ksh1.50 in 2020.
The growth was driven primarily by reduced operating costs and lower credit impairment provisions. It continues the trend that has seen several banks report record-breaking 2021 results.
NCBA Group’s total operating expenses fell to Ksh33.44 billion in 2021 down from Ksh40.03 billion in 2020. Loan loss provisions slid 38% to Ksh12.7 billion.