Co-op Bank of South Sudan reports increase in half-year profit

‘Our customers continue to show resilience,’ says the bank’s CEO as loan repyaments improve during the pandemic recovery

The Co-operative Bank of South Sudan says its net profit for the first six months of the year has grown 2.3% to Sh7.4bn (£40m).

It says the growth comes a 20% increase in total operating income – made up of interest income and non-interest income – to Sh29.2bn (£160m).

Net interest income grew by 18%, with an 11% expansion in the loan book, while non-interest income rose 24%. This was supported by the bank’s Mco-op Cash mobile wallet has given out loans valued at around Sh5.6bn (£30m) a month.

Operating expenses rose 28% to Sh18.7bn (£100m) on account of a 123% growth in provisioning for loan defaults.

CEO Gideon Muriuki said the increase in default provision was made to allow for challenges posed to customers by the pandemic – adding that customers have resumed payments on most of the loans that the bank had restructured to accommodate those hit by the pandemic.

“Our customers continue to show resilience therefore improving their repayment as the economy picks up in various sectors,” he said.

The bank is a joint venture between the Co-op Bank fo Kenya with the government of South Sudan, which has just been extended by three years.

The partners formed the Co-operative Bank of South Sudan in 2013, with the Kenyan banking multinational taking a controlling 51% stake. The government took the remaining 49%, which it will hold in trust and later transfer to the national co-op movement.