Suez Canal Bank achieves record growth rates across all sectors: Refaie

Hossam Mounir
7 Min Read

Hussein Refaie, Chairman and Managing Director of Suez Canal Bank (SCB), announced that the bank has implemented an ambitious growth and restructuring strategy since 2017, aiming to turn challenges into opportunities.

The strategy included enhancing the bank’s infrastructure and IT capacity to support digital transformation and financial inclusion. The bank also upgraded its internal systems, modernized its operational methods, and recruited exceptional human resources. Moreover, the bank invested in nurturing and developing young talents, and established new departments for small and medium enterprises and retail banking. Additionally, the bank adopted a centralized operational model to improve its performance efficiency.

Launching modern electronic system

Refaie stated that the bank is currently working on launching a modern electronic system that covers internet and mobile banking for individuals, as well as internet banking for corporations. This system will provide a wide range of banking services and transactions.

In line with the Central Bank of Egypt’s directives to achieve digital transformation and financial inclusion, Suez Canal Bank has joined the Instant Payment Network (IPN), which reflects the bank’s commitment to the Central Bank and the Egyptian government’s policies and strategies.

Refaie also emphasized the expansion of the bank’s branch network, with 16 new branches, including two smart branches, bringing the total number of branches to 50 across all governorates. The bank also revamped and updated the visual identity of its existing branches, which resulted in a significant increase in its customer base.

Refaie explained that this strategy helped to improve customer service and enhance the work environment, as well as to implement security measures to ensure high levels of security for digital services. The bank also followed local and international standards in the field of digital payments and digital transformation, in accordance with the state’s 2030 vision and the goal of achieving sustainable growth.

He added that the bank aims to increase the number of branches to 54, with several branches opening soon, including branches in the New Administrative Capital, Zagazig, Shibin Al-Kom, and New Alamein City.

Remarkable growth across all sectors

Refaie indicated that the bank achieved remarkable growth rates in its financial performance across all sectors, reflected in its profit, deposits, and loans, while meeting the targeted ratios for the Central Bank’s requirements for financing small and medium-sized projects.

Refaie also mentioned that the bank increased its capital from EGP 2bn to EGP 5bn from its profits, in compliance with the Central Bank’s requirements. He noted that the increase percentage reached 150% of the original capital.

According to Refaie, the bank’s net profit increased by 85% to reach EGP 1.36bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 735m in September 2022. This growth was supported by a 74% increase in net income from returns, which reached EGP 2.3bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 1.3bn in September 2022. Net income from fees and commissions also increased by 157% to reach EGP 515m, compared to EGP 200m in the same periods.

Syndicated loan portfolio

Refaie reported a 13% increase in the syndicated loan portfolio, reaching EGP 10.8bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 9.6bn in December 2022. He attributed this growth to the bank’s participation in arranging several loans with strong banking alliances in strategic sectors such as petroleum, real estate development, contracting, food industries, and iron and steel.

Refaie emphasized one of the notable joint loans that the bank participated in, which was the joint financing for expanding and developing the New Abu Qir Port, in collaboration with the top 10 banks in the Egyptian banking sector. This project is one of the largest joint loans in the banking sector for one of the leading civil contracting companies in Egypt, specializing in infrastructure.

The bank also helps to finance part of the investment cost for establishing the largest sugar factory in the Middle East, as well as reclaiming 181,000 feddans of desert land west of Minya Governorate. These projects offer practical solutions to meet some of the local market’s demands for sugar, wheat, and corn products, which are strategic commodities, and help to reduce the gap between supply and demand for these goods.

Increase in net loan portfolio

Refaie indicated that the bank increased the net loan portfolio and customer facilities by 11.4%, reaching EGP 33bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 29.6bn in 2022. Total corporate loans also increased to EGP 32.9bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 29.4bn in 2022, with a growth rate of 12%. The bank aims for a 20% growth rate in 2024.

The retail banking portfolio increased to EGP 3.6bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 2.8bn in 2022, with a growth rate of 30%. The bank plans to further increase this ratio in 2024.

According to Refaie, the deposit growth rate reached 14%, reaching EGP 75.1bn in September 2023, compared to EGP 65.8bn in 2022.

38 awards from global and local institutions

Refaie mentioned that the bank’s leap in its performance and its clients’ trust earned it many awards, totaling 38 awards from global and local institutions since 2017, including 12 awards in 2023. These include joining the “Arab Fortune 500” list for 2023, which includes the largest 500 companies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The bank also received the Fastest Growing Bank in Africa award on the Financial Times list for 2023, Best Bank on Forbes’ list of the top 50 companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange for 2023, the fastest growing corporate banking in Egypt Award 2023 from Brands & Business Magazine-UK, the fastest growing corporate banking  in Egypt  Award 2023  from International Business Magazine – London , the best performing Bank in Egypt Award 2023 from World Business Outlook and the fastest growing Retail Bank in Egypt from Brands Review Magazine.

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