Bloomberg News

Standard Chartered’s Kenya Unit Says Profit Growth May Quicken

March 13, 2012

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Ltd. (SCBL), the nation’s fourth-biggest lender by market value, said profit growth may accelerate this year as it adds more branches.

Net income will probably increase faster than the 8.6 percent recorded last year, Managing Director Richard Etemesi said in an interview in the capital, Nairobi, today. StanChart, as the lender is known, will add two outlets this year and another six in 2013, he said.

The lender, a unit of London-based Standard Chartered Plc, (STAN) reported earnings today of 5.84 billion shillings ($71 million), higher than the median estimate of 5.3 billion shillings by four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. StanChart plans to boost profit this year by raising income from trade and project finance, Etemesi said.

“This year we will do well,” he said. “The good news is the investment we have made in the business over the last two years, we can only capitalize on that.”

Interest income on loans and advances surged 59 percent to 9.5 billion shillings in 2011, the Nairobi-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Kenyan lenders raised interest rates to as high as 25 percent in the last quarter of 2011 after the central bank increased its benchmark rate to a record 18 percent.

Interest rates may remain high for longer as rising oil prices add to pressure on inflation and ease to about 12 percent by the end of the year, Etemesi said. Growth in lending may not match last year’s as interest rates decline and businesses cut back on investment because of uncertainty ahead of elections, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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