Nigeria's Biggest Bank Forecasts Slower Profit Growth in 2019

(Bloomberg) -- Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria’s biggest lender, expects profit growth to slow in 2019 from last year.

Pre-tax earnings are forecast to increase by 2 percent this year to 220 billion naira ($612 million) after rising 9 percent in 2018, the Lagos-based bank said in a presentation on its website. Guaranty Trust Bank sees its return on average equity at “above 25 percent” this year, compared with 31 percent in 2018.

The lender said in January it expects a slowdown in economic activities and banking operations in the West African nation this year amid uncertainties surrounding last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections and lower oil prices, the country’s main revenue earner.

The loan book will probably grow by 10 percent in 2019, after dropping by 13 percent last year, the lender said.

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