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Ghana Commercial Bank Sees 30% Loan Growth on Consumer Lending

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June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd., the nation’s biggest bank by branches, plans to increase lending by 30 percent this year as it focuses on loans to consumers.

“Our consumer banking is doing very well,” Simon Dornoo, managing director at the bank, said in an interview in the capital, Accra, on May 31. “We are pushing investments into personal loans because we see growth coming from that area.”

Ghana’s economy, the second-biggest in West Africa after Nigeria, is forecast by the government to expand 8 percent this year, faster than the 5.3 percent average growth in sub-Saharan Africa estimated by the International Monetary Fund.

Ghana Commercial Bank’s net income jumped to 143 million cedis ($71.5 million) in 2012 from 18 million cedis in the year-earlier period, the bank said in March. Lending rose 78 percent to 847.9 million cedis.

“We are on course with our plans to deliver a good performance,” Dornoo said, declining to give a forecast for profit. “After expanding the loan book at that rate last year, we want to go more gradually this year.”

Shares of the company, which have risen 143 percent this year, were unchanged at 5.1 cedis as of 11:52 a.m. in Accra. That compares with the 57 percent gain in the 35-member Ghana Stock Exchange Composite Index.

To contact the reporters on this story: Moses Mozart Dzawu in Accra at mdzawu@bloomberg.net; Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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