Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd, is to raise between GH¢50 million and GH¢100 million in supplementary capital, including reserves and long term debts, to support its increased lending strategy.

Mr. Edward Effah, the Bank’s Managing Director, told shareholders at an Annual General Meeting that the bank was in discussion with institutional investors and some multilateral lending institutions to raise long term loans to deepen its financial activities.

“We have even considered issuing preference shares to some institutions,” Mr Effah said, explaining that the idea was still under discussions and shareholders approval would be sought when a decision was reached.

The bank raised GH¢18.3 million last year through a rights issue and private placement to strengthen its balance sheet.

Despite, the harsh economic and competitive banking environment, the bank grew its net worth position significantly from GH¢9.6 million in 2008 to GH¢32.2 million last year, mainly due to the rights issue.

Profit before tax increased to GH¢3.3 million in 2009 from GH¢2.7 million a year before.

The bank’s assets jumped to GH¢362 million in 2009 as against GH¢219 million the previous year and total deposits were up to GH¢295 million from GH¢201 million in 2008.

Mr. Effah said the bank was on track to become one of the top five banks in the country in terms of assets, deposits, fees and commissions and cost to incomes ratio.

Management, he said, would pursue an aggressive marketing campaign to support staff efforts besides plans to go into financing of refined petroleum products.

In line with the oil plans, the bank last week signed a 20-million-dollar trade finance agreement with Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to partly-finance importation of petroleum products.

“We are focused on our mission to be among the top five banks in Ghana by December 2013 and we strongly believe the gains we will make this year will take us closer to that target,” the managing director stressed.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. William Panford Bray, announced a total dividend of GH¢800,000, almost the same as last

The bank, he said, performed creditably last year doubling its customer base, increasing its automated teller machines (ATMs) from seven to 14 and introducing a range of electronic banking products to enhance services and provide convenience to customers.

Mr Bray said although competition in the banking industry might become keener, Fidelity Bank would maintain the strategy to build and grow the group and to improve operating efficiency to deliver superior shareholder value.

Source: GNA