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Ecobank Transnational Says Nine-Month Profit Rose 22% on Lending

Ecobank Transnational Inc., a bank that operates in 32 African countries, said nine-month profit rose 22 percent as income from lending jumped.

Net income climbed to $151.3 million in the first nine months of the year from $123.6 million in the year-earlier period, the Lome-based lender said in a statement e-mailed by the Ghana Stock Exchange today. Net interest income advanced 56 percent to $622.4 million as lending to customers increased by 50 percent, the lender said.

Ecobank acquired Trust Bank Ltd., a closely held Ghanaian lender, in January and merged it with its local unit to create the biggest lender by assets in the West African country. It also acquired Oceanic Bank International Plc, a Nigerian lender that had been bailed out by the central bank, in February.

“The acquisition of Oceanic Bank and TTB are contributing positively to our performance,” Ecobank said in the statement.

The stock rose 9.1 percent to 12 pesewas by the 3 p.m. close in Accra, lost 2 percent to 12.1 naira in Lagos and traded at 35 CFA francs in Abidjan.

Operating expenses increased to $900.1 million at the end of September from $546.2 million in the year-earlier period. The bank needs to reduce costs, said Anastacia Arko, an analyst at Databank Financial Services Ltd. in Accra.

“Though almost all revenue streams advanced, staff costs and other operating expenses increased appreciably,” she said by telephone.

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