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Banking

Malawi Best Bank:First Merchant Bank

Botswana I Ethopia I The Gambia I Ghana I Kenya I Malawi I Mauritius I Namibia I Nigeria I Senegal I South Africa I Swaziland I Tanzania I Togo I Uganda I Zambia I Zimbabwe Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries and was one of the few African economies to contract in 2005, with GDP falling 3%. The agricultural sector has been hit by drought in both 2005 and 2006 and with agricultural products representing 80% of exports and 36% of GDP, the country’s performance has inevitably taken a turn for the worse.

First Merchant Bank, popularly known as FMB, was the first private-sector commercial bank licensed in Malawi in 1994 and has grown rapidly to become the country’s third-largest bank, with nine branches. Its profit after tax grew from K477 million ($3.4 million) in 2004 to K610 million in 2005 on the back of a larger asset base and increased income.

The bank is in the process of making a major advance in its development with a listing on the Malawi Stock Exchange that should give it the access to capital it requires to carry on growing and a diversified shareholder base.

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