NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s Equity Group Holdings said on Monday its nine-month pretax profit rose 85% to 36.6 billion shillings ($328.25 million), helped by rising interest income and falling provisions for bad loans.
Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi told an investor briefing the lender’s net loans increased 23% to 559 billion shillings, while net interest income rose to 48.48 billion shillings from 39.3 billion shillings.
Equity also operates in Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, and has a representative office in Ethiopia.
“The bulk of this growth has come from our subsidiaries,” Mwangi said.
The bank said loan loss provisions fell to 5.14 billion shillings from 14.76 billion shillings in the same period last year.
In March 2020, Kenya’s central bank allowed lenders to restructure loans for firms hit by the pandemic and gave them until March 2 this year to carry out the restructuring.
Equity’s pretax profit had fallen 20% in the first nine months of 2020, at a time when its provisions for bad loans rose 11-fold.
In late October, President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted a night-time curfew that had been in place since March 2020, a move that was expected to rejuvenate economic activity.
($1 = 111.5000 Kenyan shillings)
(Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by Kim Coghill)