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National Bank positive on outlook

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National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc has expressed optimism that it will sail through the storm of Covid despite a challenging business environment in 2020.

Last year saw many businesses staggering on their feet due to the Covid pandemic and 2021 is posing a higher threat due to the second wave of the same.

Speaking on the sidelines of a K70 million donation the company made to the Presidential Taskforce on Covid, NBM Chief Executive Officer Macfassy Kawawa admitted that the company faced a tough operating environment in 2020.

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Kawawa added that, even though 2020 may be worse because of Covid, the economy would soon pick up and the benefits would spill over to the bank.

“We are hopeful that, thanks to all those that are helping in the fight against Covid and prospects of vaccine availability, things might get better,” he said.

NBM subsidiary National Bank Pension Fund also expressed optimism that 2020 proved to be a tough year because people got retrenched while others were put on half pay.

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The fund’s chief executive officer William Mabulekesi, however, expressed hope that things would be better this year.

“What is key is that the economy should rebound. Once it rebounds, the industry will thrive, people will get employed, then they will remit contributions,” Mabulekesi said.

A performance report from the Malawi Stock Exchange has shown that banks have been resilient in 2020 despite the Covid pandemic.

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