Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

15 November 2012

Tanzania: NBC Back to Profitability

THE National Bank of Commerce (NBC) has bounced off the red and made a mouth-watering profit in this year's third quarter. The bank has posted the positive trend after suffering losses in the second quarter.

The profit was attributed to the income from loan interest that increased to 26.03bn/- in September from 22.14bn/- in the same period last year while the amount set aside for bad debts was reduced to 115m/- compared to 31.8bn/-.

The net profit of 4.24bn/- generated in three months ending September was a positive indicator to the bank's Managing Director, Lawrence Mafuru who was on a forced leave to pave the way for investigations on some financial irregularities.

However, he was cleared and reinstated back early last month.As the MD went on leave, the bank suffered a staggering 20.3bn/- loss in the second quarter, the highest in 12 years.

At the same time during the period review, NBC only wrote off bad debts worth 199m/- in comparison to the walloping figure of 24.74bn/- it struck off balance sheet last September.

On non interest portfolio, the bank, which was privatized in 2000 to Absa Group of South Africa, generated 13.41bn/- from 14.53bn/- of last September, a slight decrease following a drop of earnings from foreign currency dealings.

Customers' deposits in three months ending this September slightly dropped from 1.26tr/- to 1.23tr/- to lower deposits to loan ratio from 58.6 per cent to 57.2 per cent.

However, the Bank of Tanzania explained recently that the dwindling of deposits was in relation to comply with new guidelines that not more than 25 per cent of Trust Accounts of Mobile Payment Operators (MPOs) should be maintained in a single bank.

"The bank had to release about 30bn/- for MPOs to other banks to comply with the guidelines," BoT Director of Banking Supervision, Mr Agapiti Kobelo, and said. NBC was the largest MPOs account keeper for Vodacom, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel.

On other hand, the amount set aside to cater for bad debts or non-performing loans (NPL) stands at 14.7 per cent, which translates into over 104.89bn/- up from 11.1 per cent or about 70bn/- o the previous quarter.

NBC assets shrunk slightly from 1.448tr/- in June to 1.443tr/- in September as the bank is currently reducing slightly lending portfolio and balances from other banks by 4.5 and 9.6 per cent respectively.

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