CBE cruises past the liquidity crunch

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Bacha Gina

The financial giant, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), announced that the liquidity problem that was severe few weeks ago has now been solved.
In the past few months customers has been claiming that the liquidity problems at banks have become a challenge, while banks also confirmed the problem they face.
At the same time within few weeks’ difference the government has pumped nine billion and 5.5 billion birr for banks to easy the liquidity crunch.
In the press conference that was held on Friday February 14, Bacha Gina, President of CBE, said that “few weeks ago the liquidity problem was chronic but now it is solved.”
“The problem is not only with us but it is a country wide challenge, meanwhile it is temporary,” he said.
Recently Abe Sano, President of Oromia International Bank and head of Bankers Association, said that even though the government accrued finance that it collected in terms of tax and other means, it was reserved to disburse it back.
He said that if the government disburses the money the financial sector would be beneficiary. He said that he believed the problem is short term.
In related development CBE announced that it received the ‘Best Commercial Bank Award’ for 2019 from Global Business Outlook. CBe has 23.5 million customers and 1,560 branches.
Bacha said that the bank is also studying to open branches in foreign cities where Ethiopian mainly resides. “The desk review on some of the upcoming foreign branches has been finalized and we will make site visit shortly,” he said.
Currently CBE has branches in Juba, South Sudan and Djibouti. Middle East and the gulf, South Africa and North America are the potential destination for the bank.
Bacha has also added that regarding to access to finance to the private sector the rate has grown in the first half of the budget year compared with the same period of last year.
“We support ongoing public projects including energy, housing and sugar projects,” he added.
For the 2018/19 year CBE, which is also the major finance provider for government owned projects, has provided 129 billion birr in loans and advances. Of which the private sector secured 22.2 billion birr, which is almost one sixth or 17.2 percent of the total loan disbursement.
Deposit mobilization of the bank also reduced compared with the preceding year same period.
“Our deposit mobilization is in good position. It is good even compared with the target and a six month performance of the past year,” he added.
According to the latest report of the bank, CBE’s deposit mobilization for the 2019/20 finance year stood at 24.6 billion birr which is 71 percent of its target. However the performance in the first half of the past financial year, 2018/19, stood at 29.8 billion birr.