Bank of Kigali among contenders for top 1,000 banks globally

Kigali – The country’s largest bank in terms of total assets and market share, Bank of Kigali (BK), has been named among the leading African contenders for the world’s top 1,000 banks.
Bank-of-Kigali headquarters in Kigali. The New Times / File.
Bank-of-Kigali headquarters in Kigali. The New Times / File.

Kigali – The country’s largest bank in terms of total assets and market share, Bank of Kigali (BK), has been named among the leading African contenders for the world’s top 1,000 banks.  

The Banker,  an authoritative voice of the global banking industry published by the Financial Times of London, states in its August  2012 issue that BK  has emerged as the 20th  top bank in Africa and thereby a contender to join an enviable list of  nominees for the top 1,000 banks globally.

The news has excited industry analysts who say that the development is proof that the country’s banking industry is firmly on a positive growth path. They say that the new development has been made possible by the Government’s move to fully liberalise the industry thus stimulating what is now turning out to be one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy.

The rankings known as The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks gives an insightful and unique snapshot of the state of the global banking market,the magazine says, adding that those featuring just below the top rankings such as BK from Africa provide an excellent indication of the direction the market is headed.  

BK featured in the top African rankings for the very first time, partly due to its rapid growth in the last four years thereby propelling it into the league of leading contenders in  the  global banking scene. In the database, BK with core capital base reaching of $89.09 million was named the  second leading bank from a list known as “Top 25 of the top 1,000 contenders in terms of Tier 1 Growth” from Africa. It is also named as the  sixth leading lender from another list known as “Top 25 of the Top 1,000 contenders in terms of asset growth” with assets worth $476.54 million.

 Previously, the list featured banks from the Western world. However, this year, the data has been divided geographically to reflect the top 25 contenders from each region of the world to provide what it refers as “a more panoramic overview of the up and coming banks across the globe”.

The data is based on the 2011 results. Among other reasons, BK features in the top rankings in Africa mainly due to the fact that its shares are listed at the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), which has significantly facilitated it to improve its levels of disclosure as required by RSE.

“While African banks have proven to be more efficient at publishing results than in the past, reporting delays are still more apparent among these lenders,” the report says. 

“The stand out story from this year’s Top 1,000 contenders ranking is the impressive performance of African and Latin American banks.”

The Banker says that African, Central and South American lenders posted the highest return on assets (ROA) which is one of the measures of the key performances in the banking industry.

“Banks from these regions are recording noticeable volumes of lending because of the untapped growth opportunities on both markets.”

The report adds, “African banks stand out for their impressive profitability indicators – with banks from the continent comprising 10 of the lenders in the global top 25 banks in the ROA table.”

Commenting on the report on the sidelines of BK’s latest investor briefing last Friday, the BK’s Chief Finance Officer, John Bugunya, says that the bank will continue to sustain its market position even as local banking industry undergoes significant changes in line with a fully liberalised regime.

“The banking landscape in Rwanda is maturing over time and by being a top contender in Africa in the world’s top banks goes to show the significant strides our industry is witnessing with BK as the market leader,” Bugunya added.

The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) says in its latest report covering the first quarter of 2012 that Rwanda’s banking sector which dominates the local financial industry continues to grow in strength with an increase in its overall balance sheet of 21.9 percent.

BNR further describes the banking industry as profitable, liquid and well capitalised to sustain not only growth but also resilient to external shocks as a result of strengthened legal, regulatory and supervisory framework.

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