We have extracted the financial summary from the annual report of Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange under the share code RBGH.gh. Republic Bank is a provider of financial services to corporate, mortgage, retail and investment sectors.

The following is an excerpt from the annual report;

HIGHLIGHTS ON THE BANK’S PERFORMANCE
The Bank and its subsidiaries recorded 37.1% increase in assets from GHS 2.10 billion recorded in 2017 to GHS 2.87 billion as at year end 2018. Deposits improved from GHS 1.71 billion reported in 2017 to GHS 2.16 billion as at the close of the year 2018. Profit after tax for the year 2018 declined year-on-year by 39.3% to GHS 28.2 million. This was underpinned by loan impairment provisions amounting to GHS 57.7 million.

A detailed review on the financial results can be found in the Managing Director’s Discussion and Analysis.

RIGHTS ISSUE
The Board of Directors passed a resolution to increase the stated capital of the Bank by an additional GHS 255 million via a renounceable rights issue to Shareholders. The right issue was approved by the Shareholders of Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited at its Annual General Meeting on 26th April, 2018 and by the Securities and Exchange Commission on 22nd June, 2018. The offer which began on 23rd July 2018 and ended on 10th August 2018 resulted in the Bank’s stated capital increasing from GHS 146 million as at December 2017 to GHS 401 million as at December 2018.

The right issue was effected to enable Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited meet Bank of Ghana’s GHS400 million capital requirement before the December 2018 deadline.

CAPITAL ADEQUACY
Republic Bank (Ghana) Limited ended the year with a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 34.4% (2017:23.14%).

This was above Bank of Ghana’s regulatory minimum and comfort levels of 10% and 12% respectively. Our CAR position improved as a result of the increase in stated capital.

CONCLUSION & OUTLOOK
Global growth is expected to weaken to 3.5% in 2019 and 3.6% in 2020. According to IMF World Economic Outlook January 2019 update, the low growth forecast for 2019 and 2020 is partly because of the negative effects of tariff increases enacted in the United States and China in 2018. Other potential triggers to sluggish global growth include a “no-deal” withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and a greater-than-envisaged slowdown in China.

On the domestic front, the lifted ban on small scale mining, reopening of Anglo Gold Ashanti gold mine, and drilling of new wells on Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme (TEN) and Jubilee Fields are expected to increase output volumes of the country’s major export commodities. Furthermore, a favorable price outlook for key export commodities bodes well for the country’s external sector performance.It is anticipated that a number of strategies outlined in the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy will enhance government revenue mobilization. Nonetheless, the expenditure projections for 2019 are likely to pose some upside risk to the macro environment as the wage bill expands to accommodate funding for flagship programmes and recruitments in the public sector, just to name a few. Additionally, rising debts levels pose risks to growth outlook. IMF, thus, forecast Ghana’s 2019 GDP growth rate at 7.6% and 5.5% in 2020.

Measures introduced by the Central Bank to “clean up” the financial sector will contribute to creating a well- capitalized and resilient banking system capable of supporting economic growth in 2019 and beyond.

I believe that our strategic initiatives pursued from 2015 to 2018 have profoundly contributed to the transformation of our Bank in ways that helped us better weather challenging times. We have prudently grown our asset base, managed our operating expenses and increased our capital base, thus, building significant operating leverage.

By staying true to our strategic focus for 2019 and beyond (improving digital banking, asset creation, deposit mobilization, operational efficiency, monitoring NPL & improving recoveries, timely registration of mortgages, improving non-interest income revenue streams and exploring mergers & acquisitions), I am confident we are well positioned to compete with top tier banks as we generate industry-leading returns for shareholders and customers.

Distinguished Shareholders, fellow Directors, committed Staff and cherished Customers, my sincere gratitude for your loyalty and support over the past year. I look forward to your continued support as we work assiduously to augment returns in 2019.