Absa Bank Kenya has named Yusuf Omari as its new interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), taking over from Jeremy Awori who was recently confirmed as the new Chief Executive of Ecobank – Africa’s largest lender by footprint. Awori had ran the show at Absa since 2009.
Omari’s appointment will take effect on November 1, 2022. He will be familiar with the books, having worked as the bank’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for well over a decade. Omari previously worked as a Senior Auditor at KPMG.
Absa will be looking to ensure a smooth transition and settle on a definitive successor as it looks to continue its recent strong financial performance. The NSE-listed lender saw its net profits in the first half of 2022 rise by 12.9 percent to Ksh6.3 billion up from Ksh5.6 billion in H1 2021.
As Omari observed when the results were announced, the performance was driven by higher yields from loans and increased private sector lending.
Absa grew its loan book by Ksh44 billion to Sh262 billion in the first six months of the year. Its average yield rose to 10.4 per cent from 9.5 per cent last year after the Central Bank of Kenya increased the Central Bank Rate by fifty basis points to 7.5 percent.
This accelerated the bank’s interest income growth which rose by 21 percent to Ksh14 billion in H1 2022.
“The average yield has gone up by about a hundred basis points which means revenue has picked up in line with the yields. We have also seen quite a vibrant business environment and our balance sheet has continued to pick up on loans to the private sector,” Omari noted.