News Column

Co-Op Beats Top Tier Rivals As Key Lender in 12-Months

August 19, 2014

James Waithaka

Co-operative Bank's loan book grew the fastest in absolute numbers in the 12 months to June 30, leading a pack of three indigenous banks in the list of top lenders.

The lender, Kenya's third largest by market share with 8.61 per cent in 2013, added Sh40.84 billion in new loans to close at Sh165.76 billion, a 32.7 per cent increase over a year before.

An analysis shows Equity, KCB Group, Barclays, CfC Stanbic and Standard Chartered followed in that order in loan book growth since July 2013.

The large peer banks group consists of KCB, Equity, Co-op, StanChart, Barclays and CfC respectively. All the three indigenous lenders in the tier - Co-op, Equity and KCB - have regional footprint outside Kenya.

Co-op is betting to further boost its regional footprint, currently with operations only in South Sudan, to explore Ethiopia and Uganda.

"Our South Sudan subsidiary, which started operations in September 2013, is on the verge of breaking even and (will) contribute positively to our profitability from this year. Ethiopia and Uganda remain our new frontiers," managing director Gideon Muriuki said when he released half-year statements last week.

Equity added Sh36.03 billion in new loans over the year, boosting its loan book size by 23.9 per cent to Sh186.51 billion from Sh150.48 billion.

KCB Group lent an additional Sh29.93 billion over the 12 months to maintain the lead as the country's largest lender in loan book size with Sh244.01 billion.

Barclays Bank added Sh21.40 billion to its loan book, a 20 per cent increase to Sh128.45 billion. CfC Stanbic's Sh18.44 billion loan book growth was the third fastest ahead of Barclays and KCB despite ranking fifth in absolute terms.

StanChart's Sh13.33 billion loans expansion was the lowest and slowest among the country's six largest lenders.

All top-tier banks have recorded increases in gross non-performing loans over the 12-month reviewed period, with StanChart's rising by a startling 288 per cent to Sh14.59 billion from Sh3.76 billion as at June last year.

KCB's gross NPLs increased the second fastest by 16.5 per cent to Sh21.72 billion from Sh18.65 billion a year before. Equity's rose to Sh8.86 billion from Sh7.76 billion, a 14.2 per cent increase.

Barclays' gross NPLs jumped by 8.7 per cent to Sh4.27 billion from Sh3.93 billion a year before, with Co-op Bank's rising the slightest by 2.2 per cent to Sh6.92 billion from Sh6.77 billion.

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Source: AllAfrica

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