Equitel propels Equity's half year net profit by 18% to Sh10.1 billion

A file photo of Equity bank CEO James Mwangi with Equitel chairman John Waweru during an Equity holdings Investors briefing in Nairobi.Photo/Enos Teche.
A file photo of Equity bank CEO James Mwangi with Equitel chairman John Waweru during an Equity holdings Investors briefing in Nairobi.Photo/Enos Teche.

Increased investment in government securities coupled with growth in the loan book drove up Equity Group's profit by 18 per cent for the first half of the year.

The bank which has the highest number of customers in the country made Sh10.1 billion profit after tax between January and June 2016, compared to Sh8.6 billion earned in the same period last year. Equity has slightly more than 11 million customers.

Total assets grew to Sh444.4 billion from Sh401 billion as at the end of June last year.

"The growth in assets was greatly driven by a stable deposit base," Equity Group CEO James Mwangi said.

Deposits totalled Sh320.8 billion during the period under review from Sh301 billion previously.

These, the bank said, were driven partly by higher number of agents at grassroot levels. The bank's total number of agents rose by 26 per cent to 26,593.

Equity's new mobile banking and communications platform Equitel accounted for 82 per cent of the loans disbursed by the group.

Loans issued to customers via Equitel totalled Sh20.8 billion by end of June 2016.