… IMF measures saved Guyana – Dr Yesu Persaud
By Gary Eleazar
Despite the Global Financial Crisis that wreaked havoc on institutions regionally, internationally and locally with the Colonial Life Insurance Company, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr Yesu Persaud, yesterday informed shareholders that the bank recorded its highest profit ever.
Dr Persaud was at the time addressing the Demerara Bank Limited 15th Annual General Meeting at the Grand Coastal Inn where he informed the shareholders that they scored better than any other commercial bank in Guyana as it relates to returns on assets. This could also be the case regionally, he added.
The year was such an excellent year for Demerara Bank that Dr Persaud announced favourable dividends to be paid to the shareholders.
In his presentation Dr Persaud outlined to the shareholders the genesis of the financial meltdown pointing out that it was the rigid measures that were put in place by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cause commercial banks to be regulated by the Central Bank that saved Guyana from an even more dire fate as a result of the crisis.
According to Dr Persaud it was an, “excellent year for Demerara Bank.”
The Bank’s Net Profit increased from $750M in 2008 to G$818M in 2009, representing an increase of close to 10 per cent above the previous year.
Last year, the Bank achieved a Profit Growth of 33.92 per cent and prior to that we had achieved a profit growth of 97.87 per cent.
“Considering the challenging global environment and our selective risk appetite, the results are excellent.”
He explained that the pivotal marker in assessing a bank was the return on average assets which this year was 3.02 per cent which he described as outstanding considering the international standard of one per cent and which is the best among all the commercial banks in Guyana.
The returns on the bank’s return on Shareholders’ Funds were 23 per cent, which Dr Persaud said was good in comparison with other commercial banks.
Deposits at the banks moved to $21.2B to $24.9B, which represented an increase of nearly 18 per cent over the previous year with savings deposits up, from $6.6B to $8.8B.
It was however noted that with the surge in deposits and lack of opportunities in new investments, the main focus of the bank’s operations now would be advances.
Investments increased from $6.8B to $7.3B but Dr Persaud emphasized that their investments are secure in that the Bank has a policy of ensuring that they pursue minimal risk investments.
Net Advances went up from $6.7B to $8.7B, which shows a rise of 29.8 per cent over the previous year.
The net non-performing advances is recorded and verified by auditors as $90M as on 30/09/2009 which reflects one per of the bank’s Gross Advances “which is even better than the internationally accepted level…Our net non-performing Advances is lowest among all the banks.”
Earnings per share also escalated by nine per cent over the previous year.
Forty-one per cent of the bank’s advances were financed out of our capital and with 44.8 per cent of the assets being liquid.
He added also that based on net worth of $3.6B, the bank’s capital adequacy is to 28.36 per cent which is 3.2 times more than the required level.
“This capital adequacy gives us good scope for development in the next four to five years.
The Chairman noted in his report expansion of the Bank’s branch network one branch in 2004 to four branches presently with a Branch at Diamond scheduled to open sometime in June 2010.
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