The United Bank for Africa, UBA, which has presence in 18 countries in Africa, has disclosed its plans to increase presence to seven more countries in the continent, bringing the numbers to 25 countries.
According to the bank’s Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, UBA subsidiaries operate in 18 African countries and now contribute more than 25 per cent to the Group’s operating revenue, adding that the bank, beyond being recognised as a strong pan-African brand, is also hailed for democratising banking in its countries of operation whilst participating in landmark financial transactions.
“As long-term investors and pioneers in pan-African commercial and investment banking, we are deeply committed to the markets in which we operate and to harnessing the potential represented by the wider African economy; our intention is to be the leader in African financial services, and our recent transactions showed this.”
UBA is among one of the few banks in the country that posted profits in 2015 despite the economic crisis in the country. In its Audited Full Year results for the year ended December 31, 2015, recorded a 10% growth in gross earnings, closing at N315 billion and a 25% growth in profit-after-tax to N60 billion; translating to a 20% return on average equity.
Similarly, UBA defied competition and macroeconomic pressures to grow operating income by 10% to a record N205 billion in December 2015; from N186 billion in December 2014.
Similarly, it declared N18 billion in its profit after tax for the unaudited first quarter ended March 31, 2016. The bank result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that gross earnings stood at N74 billion for the three months ended March 2016.
Earlier in the year, international credit rating agency, Fitch, upgraded the bank’s Viability Rating status to ‘b’ from ‘b-‘while also affirming the bank’s outlook stability.
Its Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘B+’, Support Rating (SR) of ‘4’ and Support Rating Floor (SRF) of ‘B+’ were also affirmed by Fitch.
Fitch explained that the upgrade reflected the bank’s sustained reduction in leverage in conjunction with capital ratios being in line with peers. “We expect capital ratios to remain adequate, on the back of manageable growth in lending.
Leverage is adequate and should be seen in the context of solid liquidity compared to peers.