Nigeria’s Zenith Bank targets 2.5% loan growth in Q4

The headquarters of Nigeria's Zenith bank is seen in the Victoria Island district of Lagos July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

LAGOS, AUGUST 7, 2018 – Nigeria’s Zenith Bank expects to grow its loan book by 2.5 percent this year as a recovering economy and a drive to win business with manufacturers helps to offset a decline in credit in the first half, it said on Tuesday.

Loans fell 6.3 percent in the six months to the end of June following a 4.6 percent decline last year, Zenith said on a call with analysts.

The bank said weak economic growth affected lending last year. However, as the economy improves it expects loans to grow, especially as the central bank introduces liquidity to the banking sector targeting credit to manufacturers.

“For the manufacturing sector, we still see some opportunity there. We believe that there would be an incentive for the manufacturers … and the engagement has started,” it said.

Zenith added its retail banking business was also growing.

It posted half-year pretax profit of 107.36 billion naira ($352 million), up from 92.18 billion naira in the same period last year.

Its shares dropped 0.84 percent to 23.75 naira, tracking a fall in the wider stock market, which was down 0.4 percent.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.


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