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National Bank profit up 31%

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George Partridge

By Mc Donald Chapalapata, Contributor

Malawi Stock Exchange-listed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc on Friday held its 49th Annual General Meeting where it announced a post-tax profit of K22.4 billion for the year ended December 31 2020.

The profit is 31 percent higher than the K17.2 billion reported during the preceding year.

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The output was registered amid a tough operating environment characterised by Covid pandemic and political instability.

NBM plc Board Chairman George Partridge told participants that amid a volatile operating environment, the firm remained afloat.

Figures he presented show that non-interest income grew by 17 percent while net interest and investment income grew by nine percent. Net revenue grew by 12 percent.

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Operating expenses increased by seven percent while net impairment losses reduced by 45 percent.

The bank has since acquired 51 percent controlling stake in Akiba Commercial Bank (ACB) of Tanzania.

“Negotiations are still on going to acquire a further 24 percent,” Partridge said.

One of the shareholders, Stain Kaunda asked the NBM board on remedies to long queues outside its various service centres when customers are accessing services.

Partridge said in its five-year strategy, the bank embarked on a digitalisation drive whose objectives include offering digital products and services without visiting the banking halls.

“Over the past few years the percentage of transactions the bank handles through digital platforms has risen from about 85 percent to over 91 percent of all transactions processed. The bank is now intensifying civic education of its customers,” responded Partridge.

On outlook, Partridge said the future remains mixed as the economy is projected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2021.

The growth would be driven by an improved operating and macroeconomic environment due to a manageable Covid pandemic as a result of availability of vaccines through-out the world.

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