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First Capital Bank's Forex Loan Book Grows To US$18,7 million - New

First Capital Bank’s Forex Loan Book Grows To US$18,7 million

15th August 2021 Business, Zimbabwe

By Alois Vinga

LEADING financial institution, First Capital Bank’s (FCB) foreign currency loan book grew to US$18,7 million in the first half of 2021 amid sustained strong liquidity position framing a strong basis to spur the institution to greater heights.

Presenting the group’s financial performance for the period ended June 30 2021, FCB managing director, Ciaran McSharry said both local currency deposits and foreign currency loans registered lucrative growth.

“During the period under review, foreign currency loans grew to US$18, 7 million in June 2021 from a paltry US$1 million in December 2020, driven by the growth in foreign currency deposits. The bank’s total deposits have, in historic terms, grown to $9 billion, an 11 % increase from $8, 8 billion recorded in December 2020,” he said.

The latest trends were attributed to a stable economic environment which saw improved foreign currency availability through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction platform, increased economic activity and the good rainy season has led to a substantial increase in production of grain and other crops.

 The financial institution also credited the performance to good stock market capitalisation which has grown positively in spite of large net sales by foreign investors.

Stability in inflation, which is largely due to allocation of foreign currency through the auction, use of multiple currencies and control of money supply brought more certainty to the business sector was also factored in.

FCB chairman, Patrick Devenish said the bank closed the period under review on a strong capital position with a capital adequacy position of 24,7% compared to regulatory minimum of 12%.

“Core capital was US$36 million, exceeding the regulatory target of US$30 million with a capital buffer above the US$30 million which will be required to cushion against future exchange rate fluctuations given that the composition of capital is mixed between US$ and Zim dollar,” he said.

 The Bank’s inflation adjusted operating profit was $669 million compared to $97 million in the prior year, whilst in historic cost terms the operating profit was $935 million compared to $22 million in prior year which translated to earnings per share of 7 cents compared to prior year 9 cents in inflation adjusted terms.

“The strong performance was underpinned by loan book growth from the second half of last year to the current period coupled with transactional volumes and fee increases. Costs continue to be inflation driven,” added Devenish.