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HFC Bank Ghana Limited, the universal bank with a strong portfolio in mortgage financing, is to make available ¢100 billion to real estate developers to put up residential houses.

The facility will be managed on behalf of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and will be available to members of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA).

When this becomes available in a few weeks, HFC and SSNIT will be helping to reduce the over 500,000 units of houses in excess demand in the country.

The Managing Director of HFC Bank, Mr Asare Akuffo, made this known when he took his turn at the Facts Behind the Figures at the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra yesterday.

The programme has been instituted by the GSE to enable companies to dilate on their performance in the year or mid-year in order to help investors to make informed decisions.

SSNIT, which owns various real estate investments decided about two years ago to divest itself from directly managing real estate development and rather outsource it to competent financial institutions such as the HFC.

Mr Akuffo said with the improved economic environment in the country, the bank would revive its home loans operations to the tune of about ¢198.8 billion by the close of the year with new initiatives.

Since the bank became a universal bank in November 2003, the bank’s corporate banking had been growing rapidly above 50 per cent from ¢48.9 billion in June last year to ¢73.6 billion as of the end of June this year.

The figure is projected to reach ¢180 billion by the end of the year.

The managing director said the bank posted an impressive half-year results in all its key areas such as deposits, shareholders’ fund, total income and mortgage financing and was expected to sustain the momentum for the rest of the year and beyond.

The bank’s deposits, which had been projected to reach ¢499.3 billion by the close of the year, stood at ¢371.3 as of June this year, with total income standing at ¢56.96 billion as of June ending, to reach ¢138.5 billion by year end, the managing director said.

The bank’s shareholders’ fund stood at ¢107.95 billion as of mid-year with its profit after tax standing at ¢6.4 billion. That was expected to reach ¢14.8 billion by the close of the year, he stated.

Mr Akuffo said the bank was in the process of expanding all aspects of its universal banking due to its relatively higher level of liquidity made up of ¢224.7 billion of cedi bonds with a 12-year life, ¢50.8 billion dollar bonds with a two-year life and ¢20.1 billion pound sterling bonds with a three-year life.

“The high level of our liquidity is an indication of the higher capacity of the bank to expand all aspects of its universal banking business in the months ahead,” he stated.

He said the bank was repackaging its mortgage finance schemes to suit all segments of the market.

HFC, which currently has six banks, is hoping to add two more before the end of the year so as to make its universal banking in commercial, mortgage and investment banking accessible to customers.

Story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey

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