The Group has continued in the pursuit of its short and medium term goals and the accompanying results are testimony to the considerable progress towards our stated strategy…

Financial position
The Group’s total assets increased by 25% from US$422 564 352 as at 31 December 2017 to US$527 067 596 as at 31 December 2018 mainly due to a 27% increase in investment securities, a 21% increase in loans, advances and other assets, a 10% increase in investment properties, an increase of 26% in cash and cash equivalents and a 143% increase in property and


In view of the significantly improved financial performance recorded by the Group in the year under review and the sound capital ratio, the Board proposes to declare a final scrip dividend alternative to the cash dividend of 0.96 RTGS cents per share. The scrip dividend option was arrived at after taking into account shareholders’ expectations, value preservation and the need to ensure sustainable organic growth in view of the banking subsidiary’s regulatory capitalisation requirements.


In line with the Bank’s financial inclusion drive, we have intensified efforts to open low cost accounts. Further investment is continuously being directed towards the digital channels to enhance service delivery as well as accommodate the increased transactional volumes created by the broadened customer base as the Bank continues to increase its footprint. The Bank has intensified its efforts in rolling out the low-cost Point of Sale devices (mPOS) in order to support our growing SMEs and sole traders’ clientele base.

The year 2019 is likely to be a period in which inflation, currency fluctuations and a shortage of foreign currency play a pivotal role in determining the impact on revenue generation and operating costs. The combination will require a steady guiding hand from the relevant authorities as well as management and Board focus. Early indications point to a tough operating environment for the banking sector.


I would like to express my profound appreciation to our valued clients, shareholders, regulatory authorities and other valued stakeholders for their continued support in this difficult operating environment. To my fellow Board members, management and staff, I extend my sincere gratitude for their hard work, diligence, commitment and resilience which has underpinned the achievement of the commendable results.


Related download

2018 Annual report.pdf