(Updates with comment from analyst in third paragraph.)
July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd., the West African nation’s biggest lender, said first-half profit climbed 96 percent after most of the debt owed by the state-owned Tema Oil Refinery was paid off.
Net income increased to 34.4 million cedis ($22.8 million) in the six months through June, compared with 17.5 million cedis a year earlier, the Accra-based bank said in a statement published in the Daily Graphic newspaper today. Net interest income fell 32 percent to 108.6 million cedis while impairment charges on loans and advances narrowed to 3.6 million cedis, compared with 73.5 million cedis, the bank said.
The government’s “restructuring of the Tema Oil Refinery debt enhanced flexibility and provided more resources for the bank’s business,” Sampson Akligoh, an economist with Databank Financial Services Ltd., said in a telephone interview.
Ghana sold three-year bonds last year to pay off the refinery’s debt to the lender. In March, the bank said 572 million cedis had been paid, equalling about 90 percent of the money owed, according to African Alliance Ltd.
Ghana Commercial’s shares were unchanged at 2.96 cedis by 1:04 p.m. in Accra.
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