Uganda: Centenary, Barclays see better days ahead after slow 2016

Ugandan banks are looking to heavy investment into technology to reverse slow 2016 growth. Centenary Bank and Barclays Bank of Uganda Ltd registered slower growth in profits for the year ending December 2016 but the managers say that is no problem and instead remain positive about the future.

Centenary’s profits grew by 8.2% in 2016 compared to the 38% growth in profits in 2015. The bank raked in Shs109.9 billion in 2016 compared to Shs101.6 billion in 2015.

The full year earnings results released in late April also show that Barclays had a more challenging year with net profits declining from Shs55.29 billion in 2015 to Shs55.03 billion in 2016. That is still a neat pile of money but the negative -0.5% growth is in sharp contrast to the robust 34% growth in profits in 2015 compared to 2014 and indicates continued volatility in the bank’s operations.

In separate interviews, Centenary Bank Managing Director Fabian Kasi and Barclays Uganda Managing Director Rakesh Jha explained that the high operating costs figures in their income statements, which dampened profits for the period, went into critical investment for the future.

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