Equity Group’s third-quarter earnings rose to KSh 17.3 billion at the end of September 2019 up from KSh 15.5 billion last year.
Equity Group is the first listed lender to announce its third-quarter results. The announcement has come soon after parliament voted to amend the Finance Bill 2019 and scrap the Rate Cap law.
In the first nine months of 2019, Equity Group posted an increase in net interest income to KSh 32.3 billion from KSh 29.56 billion reported in a similar period last year.
In a regime of credit squeeze to the retail sector, income from loans and advances to customers increased from KSh 25.8 billion to KSh 28.98 billion while total non-interest income increased from KSh 19.8 billion to KSh 22.5 billion.
This improved financial performance is against the backdrop of the Rate Cap law, which saw many lenders shift to safer havens such as Government paper.
The Group earnings in Fees and Commissions posted a marginal increase from KSh 4.27 billion to KSh 4.29 billion.
The lender’s balance sheet also grew in size to KSh 677.1 billion compared to KSh 560.3 billion last year.
Gross non-performing loans and advances grew from KSh 26.5 billion to KSh 30.6 billion while the Group’s net NPL exposure declined from Sh 2. 5 billion last year to KSh 922.7 million at the end of September this year.
When the NSE closed yesterday Equity Group Holdings shares traded at KSh 48.50.
Equity Group, with subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is considered one of the most profitable after state-owned KCB Group.
In its latest expansion sprees, Equity has roped in Atlas Mara Limited (ATMA) and is keen to buy the firm’s banking business in Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda.
This deal includes buying 62 percent of Banque Populaire du Rwanda, 100 percent of African Banking Corporation of Zambia, African Banking Corporation of Mozambique and African Banking Corporation of Tanzania.
The transaction requires approval from regulators and shareholders from the five countries involved.
Equity Bank Group has also commenced talks to buy a chunk of Banque Commerciale du Congo (BCDC), the second-largest commercial bank in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.