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Tuesday 22 June 2021
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Promotion of good governance is essential for banking sector, says CEO of BH

Despite the damage caused during these events, it is important to see the good side of the Revolution the country is living through. This step will play a significant role in improving the business climate since it has freed the act of investment, said Brahim Hajji, CEO of the “Banque de l’Habitat” in the financial communication presented Wednesday at the headquarters of the Exchange.

He noted that the business climate will be beneficial not only for FDI but also for the governance of public banks. According to the CEO, dependence on authorizations from the Prime Ministry or the Finance Department for their agreement on a number of actions, including recruitment or buying equipment are unnecessary interferences.

In this regard, the important thing now is to separate the shareholder and the management; “governance is one aspect that will be reviewed,” he said citing the example of the renewal of executives and skills which represents only 0.5% every two years while it should be between 6 and 7%. This is deemed unacceptable and requires joint efforts to be able to meet international standards.

Before presenting the results of BH, he recalled the context in which the Tunisian banks have been engaged for two months, including events experienced by the country and especially its commitments vis-à-vis the “BT” clan.

In this context, Brahim Hajji noted that the commitments of BH with the 37 companies related to the family of the former president total 231 million dinars, representing 4.6% of the bank’s portfolio. 190 MTD concern productive and profitable companies.

Participation of about 28MD for Carthage Cement. Same scheme to “Tunisie Sucre” with 28 million. The current situation, described as “normal” has not a very negative impact on the bank as these commitments are registered by credit contracts under the responsibility of a committee which approved the granting of such credits. So there is no ultimate risk.

On another level, the CEO reviewed the activities of the bank until Dec. 31, 2010, and the development prospects of the institution. Shareholders’ equity reached 445 MTD whose capital has been around 90 MTD. A figure above expectations and should have been around 100 MTD. Customer deposits have evolved by 3.3% or 106.3 MTD.

The Bank increased its lending to the economy by 548.6 MTD, including 431.5 MTD in productive receivables. The GNP of the bank was 186.5 MTD in late 2009 and amounted to 194.3 MTD in December 31, 2010. The general operating expenses have maintained a pace of growth to reach 20.8 MTD, or 8.4% and gross operating income was up 3.8% or 127.9 MTD. The bank has seen a drop in ROA of 1.03% to 0.85%, and the ROE fell from 12.95% to 10.06%. The operating ratio rose from 42.03% to 42.62%.

Regarding the bank’s prospects for 2011, Mr Hajji expects an increase of 277.7 MTD in resources. The capital will grow by 8.2% or 42.3 MTD. Credits will increase to nearly 316.9 MTD. Net Banking Product could accordingly reach 207.7 MTD and GOP could stand at 136.2 MTD.

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