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2015 most difficult for banking business—NBM

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One of the country’s largest commercial banks in terms of assets base, National Bank of Malawi (NBM), has rated 2015 as the most difficult year for banking business.

NBM Corporate Affairs Manager Annie Magola said while the bank would rate the year ending as a mixed bag, it was however mostly characterised by shocks affecting most businesses.

“The year has been a mixed bag, but overall we would say it has been a difficult year. There were so many factors that made businesses not to have performed very well,” said Magola.

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She cited the scarcity of forex and a rise in interest rates in the last quarter as major shocks that affected operations of the banking business.

Magola said the issues of forex and interest rates have had a negative implication on the bank’s cash books in the year ending.

“The interest rates for our borrowing customers were very high which made some customers not to come and borrow money to invest more in their businesses.

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“The other thing was forex, we noted the dollar continued to rise and for our importing customers it was difficult for them to order goods from the outside market,” said Magola.

She further blamed the ever souring inflation as another major macro-economic indicator affecting operations of the business in the year.

Magola said the rising inflation pushed prices of most basic commodities and crippling the buying power in turn.

Looking ahead, Magola said much as 2016 appears promising, there are still fears that most of the economic indicators would still perform badly especially within the first quarter.

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