28 April 2011

Rwanda: Bank Recovers After Gloomy 2009

Banque Populaire du Rwanda's (BPR) has reported a net profit of Rwf1.2b for the year 2010, signalling a steady recovery in its operations after a net loss of Rwf1.1b in 2009.

Herman Klaassen, the bank's CEO said that intense efforts were put in to bring back profitability, as the loan portfolio and customer deposits showed healthy growth again, following a negative trend in 2009.

"Since the transformation of the cooperative structure of UBPR into a commercial bank, management of BPR has been quietly immersed in solving both fundamental and incidental problems and challenges," Klaassen said in a statement recently while releasing the Bank's annual financial reports.

He said importantly, the relative level of impaired loans was stabilised and net provisions for bad loans reduced.

During 2010, the liquidity of BPR was restored to a sound level of over 30 percent, whereas the minimum requirement by BNR amounts to 20 percent, he said.

According to the bank's financial report for the year 2010, total client deposits rose by 20 percent to Rwf103.4b as net loans and advances grew by 14 percent or Rwf78.1b.

Richard Ndahiro, BPR's Head of Marketing and Product Development said that the new results, compared to 2009, are a reflection of better business.

"A major differentiating factor is that in 2010, BPR managed to stabilise the level of impaired loans, such that provisions for bad loans reduced compared to 2009's loss that was mainly due to the fact that we had to clean up our credit portfolio," Ndahiro said.

Ndahiro said that the bank has 18 branches, 109 sub-branches, and 63 outlets, in the country.

BPR is a retail bank with a strong agricultural focus and has also started what it refers to as value chain capacity projects in rice, tea, dairy and coffee sectors.

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