17 April 2012

Uganda: Crane Becomes Biggest Local Bank

Crane bank has become the biggest indigenous local bank in Uganda, overtaking its closest competitor Centenary bank, both in terms of assets and profitability. Last year, the bank made a net profit of Shs 66.76bn, compared to Shs 51.59bn in 2010 - an increase of 29%.

The bank's assets expanded to Shs 961.5bn from Shs 783.6bn, an increase of 22.7%. Centenary bank has assets totalling Shs 944bn. Crane bank's performance was driven by the bank's interest income which jumped to Shs 146bn in 2011, from Shs 106.4bn. The bank's loans and advances - an area where many banks make money - rose Shs 524.6bn from Shs 410bn.

Customers continued to show their faith in the bank, with deposits increasing to Shs 684.7bn in 2011 from Shs 580bn in 2010, representing an 18% jump. Officials said Crane bank intends to continue its aggressive search for more deposits, with 25 new branches expected to open across the country. The bank currently has 18 branches. Crane bank already offers one of the best interest rates on fixed deposits in the market, an impressive 20%.

However, the bank remains cautious about the general outlook for this year. "The economic outlook for the year 2012 will largely be constrained by global oil prices, global food prices and drought predictions in Uganda," said A. R. Kalan, the bank's managing director.

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