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Awards for Excellence 2006: Zambia Best Bank: Barclays 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 Zambia’s economy grew at a strong 5.1% in 2005 as copper prices rose, boosting earnings from the country’s number one export. This growth has failed to make much of a dent in the massive public sector debts the country has incurred since independence in 1964 and the government has similarly failed to reduce unemployment, estimated to be 50%, or stem inflation, which averaged 19% in 2005. Nevertheless, it has produced a strong backdrop for banks operating in the country.

Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered both have an 18% market share of deposits. Both banks also grew fast last year: Standard Chartered increased net revenue by 14%, pre-tax profit by 80% and earnings per share by 93% as loans and advances grew by 5.5% and operating income increased by 14.6%. But Barclays surpassed even these achievements: total assets grew 78% and profit before tax rose a staggering 366%. The company’s cost-income ratios also fell by an impressive 12% during the year and capital adequacy soared by 121%.

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