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Republic reports $291.2m first quarter profit
The Republic Bank Group has recorded a profit of $291.2 million for the three-month period ended December 31, 2013. This represents an increase of 2.2 per cent over the corresponding period last year. The Group’s total assets stood at $57.9 billion at December 31, 2013, an increase of 6.7 per cent from December, 2012 and 0.5 per cent over the year ended September, 2013. Republic Bank chairman, Ronald F deC Harford, in announcing the Group’s results said: “We are encouraged by the growth and stability of our loan portfolio which was reflected in a year on year increase of 7.3 per cent and a reduction in loan impairment expense of over $15 million from the corresponding period in 2012. The results of this quarter also include a contribution of $10 million from our 40 per cent investment in HFC Bank Ghana Limited.” Harford said the bank expected this good performance to continue for the remainder of the year, as focus continues to be placed on maintaining a high quality loan portfolio, cost containment and growth in non-interest income. He noted however that the Group continues to be challenged by high liquidity which is leading to declining margins, and indicated that investments in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean will continue to be closely monitored, once difficult economic conditions persist in those territories.