BCR projects strong earnings
Rwanda Commercial Bank (BCR), the country’s third largest lender by assets, forecasts its profits after tax to increase by 40 per cent from January to March this year due to growth in lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
The Bank’s Managing Director, Sanjeev Anand, said preliminary figures suggest that BCR will post Rwf700 million in the first three months of this year compared to Rwf500 million registered in the same period last year.
“The figures are yet to be approved by auditors but we are assured of a good performance,” Anand told Business Times in a phone interview yesterday.
He attributed the achievement to the growth in the SME and retail portfolios following the introduction of new lines of retail banking and the improvement in the mortgage product.
“The bank also launched a new generation of electronic banking channels which increased access to financial services,” Anand explained.
He added that the lender’s loan book grew to Rwf42 billion from Rwf37 billion, representing a 13.5 per cent increase.
According Anand, BCR’s Non Performing Loans (NPL) currently stands at five per cent compared to 20 per cent two years ago. The central bank’s NPL threshold is seven per cent.
Anand also disclosed that the bank projects to grow its profit after tax by 10 per cent to Rwf3.5 billion this year compared to 2011. Last year, BCR’s profit after tax increased to Rwf3 billion from Rwf2.7 billion the previous year while its loan portfolio grew from Rwf28 billion to Rwf37.6 billion.
Anand earlier said that the bank is revamping its mortgage product to tap into the untapped market, targeting low income earners.
The country puts up between 300-500 housing units per year compared to a demand of 25,000 house units per year.