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National Bank of Malawi says business environment subdued

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Malawi’s biggest bank by assets, National Bank of Malawi, has said the business environment has remained subdued despite the fall in policy rate.

In its half year financial statement, the bank says the development is largely due to uncertainties before and after the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Malawians went to the polls to elect president, lawmakers and councillors.

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Though the elections were generally peaceful, the events in the aftermath of the elections, such as massive demonstrations, have remained a threat to business.

In a statement signed by directors Macfussy Kawawa, Masauko Katsala, George Partridge and Dorothy Ngwira, National Bank says the business environment has remained subdued in spite of the generally stable macroeconomic environment.

Despite the turbulence in the business environment, the bank says it registered a seven percent increase in after-tax-profit in the first half from K8.5 billion in 2018 to K9.1 billion.

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NBM says the performance took into account costs relating to a staff rationalisation programme amounting to K812 million.

It says customer deposits and the loan book grew by eight percent and 21 percent, respectively, contributing to an overall growth in the Statement of Financial Position of 9 percent to K445 billion, from K409 billion in 2018.

Official projections indicate that the economy will grow by five percent in 2019.

Agricultural output, stability of the currency, fiscal discipline, energy supply, macroeconomic and political stability post-general elections’ stabillity are key to achieving this target.

NBM says prospects look positive, adding that the bank is expected to deliver satisfactory results in the second half of the year.

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