Friday, October 22, 2021

    Access Bank Looks Outside Nigerian Market for 30% Profit Jump

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    Godwin Okafor
    Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

    Access Bank Plc, Nigeria’s biggest lender is looking to generate as much as 30% of profit outside its home market, following a series of acquisitions spanning East and West Africa last year.

    The lender expects African subsidiaries and its U.K. unit to account for about 25-30% of profit before tax in the next three to five years from 21% in the third quarter, it said in response to questions via WhatsApp.

    The same range of addition to pre-tax profit is projected to assets, deposits and revenue, it said.

    The Lagos-based bank currently operates in 12 countries. It said this year it will expand in eight new African markets by setting up offices in some countries, partnering with existing banks in some nations or deploying digital platforms to provide services to customers.

    Nigeria’s biggest lenders including Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc are diversifying outside their core operations or expanding across Africa in an attempt to boost revenue after covid-19 and a plunge in crude oil curtailed the home market.

    “We see strong contributions from our key African markets, regional hubs and our outside of Africa international business driven out of the UK,” the lender said. In Nigeria, the bank is looking to transition to a holding financial institution this year which will enable it open subsidiaries in insurance brokerage and payments.

    It plans to grow loans by 10% this year to support clients whose businesses are benefiting from the coronavirus pandemic such as telecom and health companies, according to the lender.

    Although Nigeria exited a second contraction in four years in the fourth quarter, the sluggish economy gives no incentive to further boost lending, it said.

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