Kenya’s biggest lender, KCB, shoots ahead of its closest rival and posts $127 million profit for first half year of 2019

KCB Group
  • For the first six months of 2019, KCB Group profit hit Sh 12.7 billion ($127 million), up five percent compared to the same period last year.
  • The result puts KCB ahead of its closest rival Equity Group which closed the period with Sh11.92 billion net profit.
  • The bank released the results on Thursday in a colourful ceremony held in Nairobi.

The first half year of 2019 was a good time for business for Kenya’s biggest bank by assets, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

For the first six months of 2019, KCB Group profit hit Sh 12.7 billion ($127 million), up five percent compared to the same period last year.

The bank released the results on Thursday in a colourful ceremony held in Nairobi.

 “The bottomline was impacted by 266 per cent jump in loan loss provision from Sh0.8 billion to Sh3 billion. This is something we are looking at keenly to deliver a robust second half performance,” Group Chief Finance Officer Lawrence Kimathi said.

Mr. Kimathi explained that the jump was as a result of absence of one-off benefit of passing non performing loans through balance sheet as was last year during transitioning to new accounting standard.

The results come on the back of a five percent rise in interest income to Sh25.4 billion as non-funded income grew 15 percent to Sh13.2 billion.

The result puts KCB ahead of its closest rival Equity Group which closed the period with Sh11.92 billion net profit.

KCB’s growth in interest income was chiefly driven by 13.8 per cent growth in loan book, pushing up interest on loans and advances to customers to Sh479 billion from Sh421 billion.

During the six month period, the Central Bank of Kenya kept benchmark lending rates for the sector at nine per cent meaning no commercial loan was priced higher than 13 per cent.

More banks are expected to release their results on or before end of the month in line with CBK regulations.

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