Standard Chartered Bank says it will continue to harness the Bank’s potential to drive Ghana’s economic development and to deliver value to shareholders and clients.
Speaking at the 49th Annual General Meeting of the bank in Accra, Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah, Board Chairman, said as Ghana was projected to be one of the fastest growing economies this year, the Bank would identify and seize opportunities in the market to enhance growth.
“We will identify and seize opportunities in the market as we continue to develop attractive value propositions for our clients,” he said.
There will, however, be challenges as the banking sector continues to evolve rapidly, certainly with emerging issues accompanied by further tightening of the regulatory environment.
There would also be increased competition across all businesses following the recent re-capitalisation of banks.
Dr Kumah said the Board was confident of the strategic actions to deliver profitable growth for the long-term.
“Our foundations are secure and we have introduced significant innovations in digital platforms to help deliver better client experience and drive growth across key businesses whilst driving better collaboration among our staff,” he said.
Standard Chartered in 2018 delivered a total operating income of GH¢712.9million up by five percent over GH¢676.8 million in 2017.
Profit before tax fell to GH¢325.9million from GH¢422.3 million, while net impairment charges rose to GH¢100.8 million compared to prior year of GH¢9.5 million.
Earnings per share was also down to GH¢1.54 in 2018 from GH¢2.09.
Dr Kumah said the 2018 overall performance was delivered against a relatively challenging macroeconomic environment, increasingly fierce competitive financial landscape and a tighter regulatory environment.
The financial results albeit lower than expected reflect good progress against our 2015 refreshed strategic priorities.
The results also demonstrate good business efficiency, a robust balance sheet, strong liquidity and a healthy capital adequacy ratio.
We set out in 2015 to reposition our business for higher accretive returns and sustained long-term growth. We have a more innovative and resilient bank capable of stronger growth.
It is important that we remain focused on delivering the strategic plan while being willing to adapt where necessary as conditions evolve.
“Given our commitment to improve value to you our shareholders for your support over the years, the Board therefore recommends a dividend of GH¢1.04 per ordinary share for the 2018 financial year,” he said.
The dividend, which represents 20 per cent of total income, amounts to GH¢140million.
On her part Mansa Nettey, Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Ghana, said the bank would focus on delivering its strategy through disciplined execution and driving operational efficiency and productivity while positioning business segments for growth.
She said despite growth being slower than expected and impacting short-term profits, ‘we have put in place actions to put the business back on an upward growth trajectory.’
“We will continue to maintain the right financial framework, supported by a strong balance sheet, to generate strong returns while pursuing further recovery and restructuring of impaired assets to ensure value conservation and creation,” Ms Nettey said.
She said while the outlook for 2019 remained positive, there were however some perceived headwinds and challenges in the global Macro-economy, which could impact on local economy.
“We believe that with our refreshed strategic priorities, we will be able to take advantage of the opportunities the market presents, to drive income growth and deliver on our objectives.
“We will continue to pursue our recovery efforts which have been successful to date, to improve our profitability,” she added.