Berhan International Bank, one of the smaller private banks in Ethiopia, has registered an astronomical growth in profit levels during the just concluded fiscal year bagging 365 million birr profit before tax, a whopping 162. 5 percent leap from the 139 million birr profit it has garnered last year.
According to sources, the second in terms of relative profitability is Bank of Abyssinia which grossed 507 million birr before tax, with a 135 million net increase over last year’s profits. Although Abyssinia had a good year, the relative increase which is only 35 percent could only be accounted for as a distant second to what Berhan has managed to do this year.
Third on this list is Awash International Bank which also has one phenomenal year breaking the one billion birr mark in profit for private banks and outpacing its arch-rival Dashen Bank, which racked 990 million birr during the period in question. Awash’s relative profitability is also high on the charts with 15 percent increase in the stated budget year.
At the other end of the table are the likes Dashen and Wegagen whose profits remained more or less stagnated between the last and the current budget year. For instance, Dashen managed to show a meager 26 million birr increase amounting to 2.7 percent increase of the profit levels during the year. Apart from Dashen, Wegagen has also seen a small leap in profit this year amount to four percent or 18 million birr in absolute terms.
All in all, the banking industry, which is expected to be stifled by the successive bank directives, which were issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), appears to be on another growth trajectory. According to sources, the private banking industry as whole grossed some 6.34 billion in profits during the year, which shows 847 million birr increase from last year.
In terms of absolute profit, Awash leads the pack with its 1.005 billion gross profit, this year followed by Dashen with 990 million birr, Wegagen with 472 birr, Nib International Bank 470 million and United Bank at 456 million birr.
An odd fellow from the private industry this year is Cooperative Bank of Oromia (CBO). CBO general had the worst year yet since its establishment with its profit plummeting by 226 million birr around 38 percent decline from its level last year. CBO’s profit decline came at unprecedented rate, according to banking experts. In fact, the 373 million birr profit is said to have taken the bank some three years back where it is speculated to be even lower than the profit three years ago. Traditionally, CBO is one of the late-comer banks in the industry which quickly managed to climb the to the top position in the industry bagging profit levels which put it in the top five for many years.
Just last year, CBO has grossed 604 million in profits which put it at the third most profitable banks position behind Dashen and Awash. The year on year difference is the other factor that surprised the banking professionals that talked to The Reporter on conditions of anonymity.