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Barclays Bank of Ghana

A benign combination of political stability and democratization twinned with robust economic growth and low inflation is creating an increasingly favourable backdrop for Ghana's banking sector. Fitch Ratings upgraded the sovereign from B to B+ in March.

That stable macroeconomic backdrop allowed local as well as international banks to turn in a strong operating performance in 2004. For example, the pre-tax profit of Ghana Commercial Bank, the country's largest bank by assets, rose by 8.5% in 2004, with provisioning for doubtful loans falling by 14.6% and total deposits up 34%.

Barclays Bank of Ghana, however, claims this year's award for best bank. Profits before tax expanded by just over 30% from C329 billion to C430.5 billion ($47.7 million), with after-tax profits rising by 24%. Total deposits rose by 14% in 2004, and loans and advances expanded by 30%, with loans to individuals increasing by 29%.

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