BK Group Plc is projecting after-tax profits over Rwf48 billion in 2021, up from Rwf38.4bn registered last year. In the first nine months of 2021, the company registered Rwf36.7bn profit after tax. According to Nathalie Mpaka the Chief Financial Officer of BK Group they are projecting net profits of Rwf12Bn in the fourth quarter of this year. If achieved, this will bring their profits for the year to over Rwf 48B. BK Group constitutes four subsidiaries; Bank, BK General Insurance, BK TecHouse and BK Capital. According to the group’s financial statement, the largest driver of the performance, as has been the case previously, was the banking subsidiary Bank of Kigali at over 90 per cent followed by BK General Insurance. With an estimated 32 per cent market share (by assets), Bank of Kigali in the first 9 months of 2021 served over 361,000 retail customers and over 27,000 corporate clients with retail clients’ balances and deposits reaching Rwf246.3 billion while business banking clients’ balances and deposits grew to Rwf 531.4 billion as at end of September. The lender’s Non-performing Loans was at 6.2 per cent, a slight drop from 6.6 per cent mid this year. BK Insurance registered a profit of Rwf 1.8 billion in the third quarter compared to Rwf 1.5 billion registered in the same period last year. Gross Premium increased from Rwf 7.7 billion in the third quarter last year to Rwf 10.4 Billion in the same period in 2021. BK Capital, which offers services such as investment and wealth management, corporate finance and advisory services brokering of capital markets instruments saw an increase in assets under management grew by 81 per cent. Cost to income ratio for the first 9 month of 2021 was 35 per cent. Cost-to-income ratio is important for determining the profitability of a bank. A low cost to income ratio is a positive development as it indicates that it takes less cost to generate income. Diane Karusisi, Chief Executive Officer of BK Group expressed optimism of further growth going forward with the economy projected to rebound in the current year with a positive outlook through to 2022. “We have recorded double-digit growth on all key performance metrics and have kept a prudent stance with regards to impairments. The economy is projected to rebound in the current year with a positive outlook through to 2022, supported by high infrastructure project spending and a pickup in the manufacturing and service sectors as the effects of the pandemic dissipate. We are happy to see improvement in asset quality which allows us to look forward to closing the year with a solid performance,” She said. Marc Holtzman, Chairman of the Board said that they have since received approval from the Central Bank to proceed with the dividend payout of 2019. The Central Bank had called financial institutions to hold the funds to ensure liquidity to be paid out at a later date. The instructions were issued in the interest of safeguarding capital and liquidity to enable the said institutions to respond to shock from the pandemic. BK Group shareholders in May 2020 approved shareholders dividends at Rwf14.4 per share in dividend payout for the year 2019. This will be paid out in coming days according to Holtzman. Holtzman added that for 2021, they will have a more significant dividend for the 2021 year, about 50 per cent dividend payout. With regard to the new law on protection of personal data and privacy and its implication on the group’s operations, Karusisi said that having taken part in the consultative process, they had commenced working towards compliance across operations with a dedicated team assigned to the task. With a majority of operations and aspects of BK Group dependent on data, the group will have to adjust several aspects with regard to data collection, storage and processing of personal data in line with the new law. The new law among other things demarcates clear and unambiguous consent of an individual to the collection, storage, and processing of personal data.