The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Stanbic Makes Shs 121 Billion Profit

Stanbic bank Uganda, a unit of South Africa's Standard bank, made Shs 121bn in profit after tax for 2011 compared to Shs 73bn the previous year, representing a 68% growth. The profit was largely on account of the growth in the non-core banking activities such as fees and commissions which registered 29% growth. The bank made Shs 94bn in fees and commissions compared to Shs 73bn during the same period the previous year. The bank has recommended a dividend payout of Shs 4.88 per share.

Arthur Oginga, Stanbic bank Uganda's finance director, said the central bank's tightening of the monetary policy by inducing high interest rates in the market through its Central Bank Rate resulted into less appetite for loans, which hurt the bank's loan book. Nevertheless, loans and advances went up to Shs 1.5 trillion, up from Shs 1.1 trillion.

"There could be fewer people borrowing but taking significant amounts," Oginga explained. "And remember we also lend dollars. This gives us some mileage," he added.

Philip Odera, the bank's managing director, however, said the outlook is not so rosy. He warned that inflation coupled with further depreciation of the shilling, high fuel prices as well as food shortages could undermine the returns in the second half of the year.

"Pressure on the shilling will continue, fuel prices will remain high due to civil unrest in major oil supplying countries and potential food shortages are expected to persist. So, the financial outlook for the year doesn't look good," Odera said.

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