(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The total financial position of Suez Canal Bank increased by the end of September 2018 to EGP 45.3bn, up by EGP 5.3bn from December 2017, marking a 13.3% rate, according to the Chairperson and Managing Director of the bank, Hussein Refaey.
Refaey pointed out that the increase in the bank's financial position was supported by a rise in customer deposits by 14% to EGP 35.7bn in September against EGP 31.3bn in December 2017, while loans also grew by 21.1% to EGP 12.4bn from EGP 10.2bn.
"The increase in the bank's loan portfolio was supported by an increase in the syndicated loan portfolio by EGP 1.8bn to EGP 4.8bn at the end of September 2018, as the bank jointly financed 11 loans dedicated to strategic and development sectors. The bank's share in these loans stood at EGP 5bn," Refaey stated.
The bank's net profit rose by the end of September 2018 by 10% compared to September 2017, he pointed out.
As for non-performing loans (NPLs). The managing director said that the bank settled 68 cases with major clients, and collected EGP 424m, which saved EGP 258m in allocations.
Furthermore, he highlighted that the bank put in place a mechanism to deal with this file, in cooperation with the Department of Information and Legal Affairs Sector as well as the Settlement and Restructuring Sector, under the supervision of the chairperson and managing director in order to follow-up ton he implementation of urgent solutions which would settle this file.
Moreover, Refaey expected NPLs to reach 25% of total loans by the end of December, down from 38% in December 2017.
Regarding the bank's plan in its assets' portfolio due to the repayment of bad debts, the chairperson said that the bank achieved marked improvement in the last 18 months, and disposed of 12 assets worth EGP 293m.
The bank has developed a clear plan to restructure the direct investments portfolio, in order to recycle those investments and maximise returns, Refaey declared, noting that the bank's strategic direction in this file is to restructure the direct investments portfolio, through exiting from old investments and those which that do not efficient yields in consideration of their associated risks.
Additionally, the bank has developed a plan to restructure companies facing challenges, in cooperation with the rest of the shareholders, and is considering entering into new investments in line with the strategic direction of the bank, he added, remarking that the bank has recently already exited from two investments, and fulfilled capital gains of EGP 32m, while dividends increased by 196% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017.
"A sector was established to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as one of the main means of achieving growth and expansion. Contracts were also signed with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency worth EGP 100m to contribute to the development of this sector," Refaey said.
Plus, Refaey elaborated that the bank has also signed several cooperation protocols with the Industrial Development Authority and the Information Technology Industry Development Authority (ITIDA), in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI), and with the Nile University, in order to contribute to the development of this sector, and to promote entrepreneurship and the development SMEs in various stages.
At the same time, he empathised that the bank secured the funding of EGP 370m to these projects directly and granted micro and small lending companies about EGP 93m.
"The bank followed an ambitious expansion plan in 2018 targeting high growth rates across all sectors, particularly the retail sector, by issuing new products that will help develop the sector and cover many types of personal loans for individuals," pronounced Refaey.
Likewise, the managing director stated that the development also extended to include digital banking, which made the bank one of the strongest banking institutions offering various solutions and electronic banking services, as well as government payment services to its customers, in order to attract new customer segments, especially the youth who rely on electronic transactions.
He also noted that the bank is preparing to launch several electronic banking services and solutions by the beginning of 2019.
The bank is ready to provide a distinguished service to its customers through its 41 branches, plus it has opened four branches this year, and plans to open more in the coming period.
Moreover, the bank has developed the ATM infrastructure and deployed more machines in several areas, bringing the total number of ATMs to 48, with plans to reach 100 by the end of 2019.
In addition, the call centre service has also been developed, in cooperation with Raya, and the representatives have moved into the bank, he added.
In a different context, Refaey said that over the last 18 months, the bank has ended all its disputes on the stamp tax between the Q3 of 2006 to the end of 2015. All debts have been settled after benefiting from Law No 174 for 2018 which waived the delays.
Regarding the role of the bank in corporate social responsibility, Refaey said that the bank has contributed towards the initiative of the Federation of Egyptian Banks to develop informal settlements by EGP 10m. It also participates with civil institutions in the delivery of water pipes to 330 households in Beni Suef at a cost of EGP 500,000. Furthermore, the bank provides food commodities to the most vulnerable villages in Beni Suef and Fayoum during Ramadan.
Similarly, the bank has also contributed to developing two schools, in cooperation with the governorate of Ismailia, at a financial cost of EGP 390,000, along with EGP 1m to develop Khedive Cairo. The bank's Dokki Islamic Branch supported 30 free hospitals and clinics, 80 civil society organisations for orphans, and helped many limited-income households with their medical bills.
What's more, he also pointed out the bank's contribution in providing motorcycles for people with special needs throughout previous years, in cooperation with the Giza Governorate, which coincided with 2018 being a year for people with special needs. The bank also supported the initiative of the ministry of health and population to eliminate the waiting lists by EGP 200,000.
"The Bank has won numerous awards, including the 'Excellence Award in Customer Service' from the World Union of Arab Bankers, and was selected by Forbes magazine among the best 50 listed banks," Refaey said.