Monday April 16 2012

Agriculture financing spurs Centenary growth

By Ismail Musa Ladu

Commercial banks have continued to beat budget expectations even as 2011 presented some of the hardest challenges to Uganda’s banking sector.

The latest to register growth is Centenary Bank whose profit after tax grew from Shs29.3billion to Shs47.9billion, becoming part of those that have grown amidst a challenging economic environment.

“We all know that last year was not an easy one,” the bank’s managing director, Fabian Kasi, said while releasing the results last week.

2011 was characterised by high inflation, currency depreciation as well as high interest rates which affected portfolios of most commercial banks in Uganda.

The bank’s impressive performance was a result of portfolio growth in agricultural financing, an area that many commercial banks have not ventured into.

The bank also saw a tremendous growth in its customer base registering over 1,133,612 customers, an increase of 13.3 per cent from 2in the year under review.

Customer deposits grew by 10 per cent translating to Shs694.4billion from Shs630.8 billion in 2010.