United Bank to expand to Juba

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - United Bank is set to open its first branch in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, and is going to be the first Ethiopian private bank to enter the newest African country.

Officials of the bank believe that opening a branch in the oil-rich country will turn out to be lucrative.

Berhanu Getaneh, president of the bank told The Reporter that the bank is working to become one of the best banks in Africa and apart from Juba United Bank also plans to open branches in other African countries.

The first Ethiopian business, Abyssinia Trading, an electronic material distributor, broke the ice by arriving in Juba after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. It was then followed by restaurants and other businesses. Now Ethiopian businesses have become very visible in Juba.  Also, Ethiopian Airlines opened an office and the state-run Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) opened its Juba branch in 2009.

Under Berhanu’s watch the bank managed to become one of the top private banks in the country trailing Dashen Bank, Awash Bank and Wegagen Bank.

United Bank registered a net profit of 231.8 million birr for the last fiscal year, according to the bank’s financial statement. The bank has also bought bonds worth 806.8 million birr from the National Bank of Ethiopia which is in accordance with the newly introduced regulation that forces banks to buy bonds worth 27 percent of the total disbursed loans.

According to the bank’s financial statement, import and domestic trade and services have secured the biggest loans and advances from the bank in the past fiscal year taking 704.5 million and 645.6 million birr respectively, while manufacturing, export and the construction sectors following the leading two sectors by securing 554.1 million, 529.9 million and 419 million birr loan respectively.

United’s assets as of June 30, 2011 have reached 7.7 billion birr, an increase by 1.8 billion birr over those of the previous fiscal year.

Source: Ethiopia Reporter