ABA Bank, a member of the National Bank of Canada group, recorded a net profit of $71.8 million last year, up 55 per cent from $46.2 million in 2017, its annual report released on Monday stated.
A rise in the bank’s loan portfolio and the expansion of stated branches were the key drivers behind the growth, the report says.
ABA’s deposit portfolio reached $2.2 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in 2017, while its loan portfolio reached $1.8 billion, a 49 per cent growth year on year, the report said.
ABA chief executive officer Askhat Azhikhanov told The Post via email that capital injections provided by the National Bank of Canada provided more tools to grow infrastructure, while a clear focus on digital solutions and services helped increase the bank’s customer base.
“Our mobile-first strategy and trust in technologies became our main account growth drivers, bringing cheap and reliable funding and providing competitive advantage in the market,” he said.
The National Bank of Canada recently unveiled plans to acquire the final 10 per cent stake in the Cambodia-based ABA, giving it 100 per cent ownership.
ABA will become the third bond issuer in the Cambodian capital market after it obtained approval from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC).
The bank plans to raise 100 billion riel ($24.7 million) through its first corporate bonds issued in the Kingdom’s capital market. The net proceeds from the bond issuance will be used for operating expenditures as well as growth in the lending business.
According to the report, ABA plans to expand its operations into two more provinces, Koh Kong and Steung Treng, later this year.
“In the upcoming years, we will keep pursuing our strategy of further infrastructure development, the continuous upgrade of our digital products and platforms, the launch of new services and consistent provision of productive loans to MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] in real sectors of the Cambodian economy,” Azhikhanov said.
In 2018 alone, ABA launched 15 new branches to enable the bank to increasingly tap into its potential client base.
As of the end of the year, the bank was serving 426,000 depositors, a rise from 232,000 at the end of 2017, with 4,213 employees and 66 branches across the country.
ABA’s total assets grew to more than $2.7 billion in 2018, a 65 per cent increase since the end of 2017, while return on investment stands at 28 per cent.
According to the NBC, there were 43 commercial banks, 14 specialised banks, 74 microfinance institutions and seven microfinance deposit-taking institutions operating in Cambodia last year.