NBS Bank after-tax profit for the year ended December 31 2014 grew 41 percent to K2.6 billion from the previous year’s K1.9 billion, according to published financial audited results.
The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed bank and its subsidiary NBS Bank Forex Bureau Limited reported a profit before-tax of K 4 billion during the year, representing a 43 percent growth and a net income of K 17.4 billion, up from the previous year’s K13.5 billion.
The financial results, co-signed by the bank’s chairperson Felix Mlusu and director Estelle Nuka, indicate that total deposits grew by two percent from K47 billion to K48 billion due to what has been described as the bank’s strategy to improve interest margins.
The results also show that total assets grew by 15 percent mainly driven by an increase in cash balances to meet Liquidity Reserve Requirement (LRR) obligations while gross advances grew by two percent from K40 billion to K 41 billion.
With the recent appreciation of the kwacha due to the availability of foreign currency on the market, the bank’s total foreign exchange reserves stood at 4.83 months of import cover compared to 4.03 months import cover at the end of the 2013.
The financial report further said despite high growth prospects, companies are expected to face several challenges such as interest rates, high electricity and transport costs and that lending rates will remain high due to the high monetary policy rate or bank rate at 25 percent.
“We expect authorities to continue implementing a tight monetary policy that is in tandem with the fiscal policy,” reads part of the statement, saying that some level of stability is expected on the foreign currency market in light of the recent policy changes and an increase in the foreign exchange reserves.
The directors have this year proposed a dividend of K400 million, representing K0.55 per share be paid. This comes after two years without payment of dividend to augment its capital.