Ecobank has done it again
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The year 2008 was another strong year in many respect for the Ecobank group.
Its total assets grew by 27 percent, to US$8.3 billion and its gross revenue exceeded US$ 1 billion for the first time despite a very difficult golbal economic and financial situation. This revelation was made at the Ecobank Transnational Incorporated's ( ETI ) successful Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Friday June 5 , 2009 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The AGM was part of the Ecobank group's strategy to hold annual general meetings in different countries where it operates in Africa, reflecting its Pan-African character and diversed shareholding across the continent.
In his address at the AGM, the group's chairman, Mande Sidibe said his group's customer base rose to almost 2million with over 600 branches and offices. In terms of geography, EcoBank group by far, has the largest geographical foot print in Africa with a presence in twenty-seven countries. Chairman Sidibe informed the enthused shereholdres that EcoBank was coming to the end of its expansion phase and will now be focusing on productivity and efficiency.
He also informed the shareholders that the group has a subsidiary in France, making a total of its operations in 28 countries. He added that operations are expected to commence in two additional African countries before the end of 2009, bringing ETI's total country count to 30. the ETI chairman summed 2008 as another good year. According to him, his group's gross revenue increased by 60%, with its capital base increasing to US$1.2 billion, as a result of the ETI Public Offer in 2008, making ETI one of the best capitalised banks in middle Africa.
The accounts of both the parent company (ETI) and the group are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards. Ecobank is one of the few banks in full compliance with the IFRS in Africa. The group's profit after tax was US$111 million. The net profit attributable to the parent company was US$94 million.
Sidibeh further pointed out that the cooperation has recently refreshed its corperate logo and brand identity, with the new brand being rolled out in a cross effective manner across the network. "Our new logo embodies Ecobank's pioneering role in banking, with the stylized (K) symbolising a torch lightining the way ahead to a brighter and better future for Ecobank and Africa," Sidibe explained. The logo underscores Ecobank's unwavering commitment and believe in the future of Africa. The savvy Ecobank boss also told shareholders that the global economy is expected to slow down in 2009, but "We remain hopeful that the impact on Africa will not be as severe as feared". Shareholders approverd all resolutions including those that on dividens payment.
In their strive to bring banking to the door steps of the masses, the EcoBank Gambia Limited open its sixth branch in Farafenni, North Bank Region, within less than two years of its operation in the country. Speaking at the occasion held on Monday, Fitzgerald Odonkor, managing director of EcoBank Gambia told hundreds of the Bank's clients that the day symbolizes a sense of accomplishment in the strategic objective EcoBank sets itself from the inception and that it is nothing but contributing effectively to the socio-economic and financial well-being of the people of Africa. "In all our measures, we have achieved this objective today by opening a classic Ecobank branch in Farafenni, bringing banking to the door steps of its people.
Farafenni has always featured high on our agenda, given the socio-economic importance of Farafenni in the economy of The Gambia, the myriad of commercial activities that typifies Farafenni as a commercial and transit point, its mix culture, elite citizens and strategic positioning as a border town with Senegal". The latter, according to Odonkor is in an astute business perspective thus rendering Farafenni a natural partner to Ecobank.
Odonkor added that Ecobank is committed to regional trade integration, offering rapid transfer of products and a host of other banking products and services such as the CFA account. Odonkor further told the people of Farafenni that the branch will provide them with multiple choices over a number of reliable, accessible and convenient banking services and a choice for them to open accounts, both in Dalasi and CFA.
"The opening of this branch signals the strenghtening of Ecobank's micro-finance strategy and realisation of a wide number of national products and services to better suit the people of Farafenni and its surroundings. This initiative will, to a large extent fill in products and service gaps within the banking sector, one of which will be the launch of the Ecobank inland money transfer services," he stated.
Officially opening the branch, deputy governor of North Bank Region, Momodou Marr, deputising for the regional governor, who was also the first customer, said the opening of the Ecobank branch is a step in the right direction. According to him, Ecobank is unique in its operations and it is a bank that is high standing and he called the people of Farafenni and their surrounding to desist from the traditional keeping of money under their beds and in holes. "With Ecobank, your money is safe and is accessible twenty-four hours as they are a first bank with an ATM facility outside the Greater Banjul area (Farafenni).
For convenient banking rush to EcoBank," Marr conluded.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Lamin Kebba Jammeh, National Assembly member for Illiasa said Ecobank has come to stay in Farafenni for the good of its citizenry, as its mission is to uplift the livelihood of all. Honorable Jammeh told the people of Farafenni that Ecobank is a very reliable bank and it offers unique services without doubt. Other speakers at the ceremony included the chief of Farafenni, Alhagie Foday Sarr Jammeh and the Ecobank Farafenni branch manager, Sheikh Jobarteh. Soon after the launching, about hundred clients opened accounts with Ecobank one of whom was the Deputy Governor Momodou Marr. A number of CFA accounts were also opened. The opening also witnessed lots of Western Union Money transfer transactions.
Author: by Lamin M Dibba