Ihab El Sewerky, CEO and Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank – Egypt (ADCB), has revealed the bank’s business strategy in the Egyptian market for the coming period.
The strategy comes on the back of the bank’s recent rebranding to operate under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).
During a roundtable organised by the bank, in presence of Daily New Egypt, El Sewerky said that the bank’s rebranding has contributed significantly to enhancing its performance.The group enjoys strong financial solvency and ranks third in the UAE, and fifth among banks working in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
“Despite the [novel coronavirus (COVID-19)] pandemic, ADCB – Egypt has managed to maximise its profits,” he said,“It is expected that the bank will achieve a growth in net profits by 10% to 12% by the end of this year.”
He pointed out that, in the coming period, the bank aims to expand its electronic banking services and products, especially as the Abu Dhabi Commercial Group is distinguished in this regard and has won many prizes in the field of digital products.
Regarding the bank’s strategy to expand in the electronic products field, El Sewerky said that ADCB aims to launch the second phase of its Internet banking services in January. This comes in addition to launching the electronic wallet in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.
On the other hand, El Sewerky noted that this year the bank has worked on financing projects in Egypt. This comes as the corporate finance portfolio increased by about EGP 3.5bn, reflecting a growth rate of 57% in the same period last year.
El Sewerky revealed that his bank has studied several potential financing deals, which vary between direct financing and syndicated loans of EGP 2bn-EGP 3bn in several vital sectors of the Egyptian economy. These are in, most notably, industry, contracting, petroleum, and pharmaceuticals, in addition to the service sector.
“The bank is targeting growth rates of 25% during 2021, surpassing the current average growth rates in the banking sector which ranges from 15% to 20%,” he said.
El Sewerky said that the ADCB management is keen to provide continuous training for employees, whether through the banking institute’s programmes or online training programmes with a number of specialised agencies.
He pointed out that the geographical expansion process will depend on the redistribution of branches in some regions and governorates.
This will be put into effect according to a study that the bank is currently conducting,which aims to achieve maximum benefit for target customers. The bank currently boasts 47 branches located in almost all Egypt’s governorates.
El Sewerky added that the bank aims to double the number of ATM machines during the coming period, from the current number of 100 to 200 machines by 2022.
He said that the bank is currently working to finalise a strategy related to social responsibility, to which the bank attaches great importance. The strategy aims to support a number of different groups and segments, and develop vital areas related to the Egyptian society.
Regarding Egypt’s new banking law, El Sewerky said that it has several strengths, foremost of which include: dedicating an entire section to e-banking; strengthening the supervisory role of the banking sector; putting greater focus on separating powers and strengthening governance; and achieving best international banking practices.
El Sewerky also said that the ADCB aims to comply with the requirements of the new law during the coming period with regard to increasing its capital. The move on the bank’s parthighlights the group’s interest in expanding into the Egyptian market.
In a related context, El Sewerky said that Egypt’s banking sector has been one of the least affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is due to the strength that banks have created in their financial centres.
These strengths have come into play particularly after the banking reform programmes that have been put in place since 2003, all the way to the Central Bank of Egypt’s(CBE) decision to liberalise the exchange rate in 2016.
This coincides with the economic reform programme led by the state, which gave Egyptian banks flexibility and resilience, and enabled them to face the crisis.
El Sewerky said that the CBE, with its proactive decisions and ability to manage the crisis, was able to challenge the global pandemic. As part of this, itusedits tools to launch several initiatives in support of economic sectors and troubled factories.
The tourism sector, which was one of the most affected by the global health crisis, received a share of those initiatives that supported companies, institutions, and employees.
El Sewerky added that the bank participates in all the CBE’s initiatives, especially the postponement of loan instalment payments to customers. A large number of self-employed individuals whose jobs were affected by the pandemic have benefited from this initiative, in addition to a limited number of large companies.
He said that the ADCB followed a firm policy of precautionary measures during the coronavirus crisis, aiming to preserve the health and safety of workers and customers. He added that the bank was keen on adhering to a 50% rotational shift among its employees atall branches, with the performance of the bank remaining unaffected.