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Union Bank Targets 40 Percent Loan Growth in 2014

August 7, 2014

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc aims to boost its loan portfolio by 30 per cent in the second half of 2014, after increasing it by 10 per cent in the first six months.

The bank is targeting retail and business customers, its Chief Finance Officer, Oyinkan Adewale said.

"In the second half we would do 30 per cent (in loans). We closed December 2013 at N231 billion loan book. We are looking generally in the region of 40 percent growth for 2014,"Adewale told Reuters.

Union Bank was bailed out in 2009, along with eight other Nigerian banks in the wake of a financial crisis. A private equity consortium recapitalised the lender, which reported last week that its first-half pretax profit fell by a third, on lower gross earnings.

Shares in Union Bank, which have fallen 14.3 per cent this year, were up 0.2 percent at N8.20 yesterday.

Adewale said she expected the second-half profit to be "strong" without giving a guidance for the full year. But she said the fall in the first six months was due to one-off write-back, which would not occur in the second half.

She said management was rebuilding Union Bank after the bailout and the lender was upgrading its banking software and human resources to be able to compete with rivals like First Bank and Zenith Bank.

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Source: AllAfrica

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