Despite operating in a challenging economic environment, the Trinidad and Tobago-based parent company of Republic Bank Barbados, Republic Financial Holdings Limited, has recorded a modest TT$340 million (BDS$101 million) in profit for the first quarter of the current financial year.
In its recently released unaudited financial statements for the three-month period ending December 31, 2017, the company said the profit represented an increase of $10.2 million or 3.1 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous financial year.
At the end of the first quarter under review, total assets of the financial institution stood at TT$70 billion, an increase of 2.2 per cent over total assets as at December 2016.
Immediate past Chairman Ronald Harford, who retired effective December 31, 2017, said the improvement in profitability of the company was driven “mainly by better performance in our overseas territories”.
He said he remained optimistic that the positive performance would continue despite ongoing economic turmoil in several of the bank’s key markets.
“The profitability of the Trinidad and Tobago subsidiaries declined because of an increase in loan impairment expense of $34 million and increase in taxation of $14.4 million arising from the 5 per cent higher tax rate,” said Harford.
“Notwithstanding the economic challenges in several key markets, we remain reasonably optimistic that the sound performance achieved in this quarter will continue for the remainder of the year,” he added.
He also reported that shareholding in HFC Bank (Ghana) Ltd increased by one per cent to 58.51 per cent, “following participation in a rights to issue to increase the bank’s capital to meet local regulatory requirements”.
The company has more than a dozen subsidiaries in more than six markets.
On the heels of the report, the bank announced the appointment of Nigel Baptiste as its new chairman, managing director and president of Republic Financial Holdings Ltd.
Baptiste, who has served the Republic Bank Group for more than 25 years, takes over from Harford, who retired from the board of directors at the end of December.
The financial institution also welcomed to its board of directors, Debbie Fraser, a partner with Clarke Gittens Farmer, and attorney-at-law and Deputy Chairman of the Financial Services Commission of Barbados.
Fraser, whose appointment took effect December 15, 2017, replaced attorney-at-law Peter Symmonds, who served on the board of directors since 2003.