• Afrexim, BoI CEOs, Ecobank Shine Too
Photo Caption: Omar Ben Yedder, publisher of African Banker, handing the African Bank of the Year Award to Ololade Fadoju, Deputy Manager at GTBank.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc again made Nigeria proud at the 2017 African Banker Awards, beating five shortlisted nominees to clinch the ‘African Bank of the Year Award,’ helped by 37% growth in net profit, despite the country’s difficult operating environment in the course of the 2016 financial year.
Among winners announced at a prestigious Gala Dinner in Ahmedabad, India during the annual awards in which no particular country stole the show this year, President of Afreximbank, Dr Benedict Oramah, emerged Banker of the Year, after his bank recorded considerable growth in the year under review, whilst other metrics, such as income to cost ratio were very competitive.
Waheed Olagunju, acting chief executive and Managing Director of the Bank of Industry was honoured with this year’s African Banker Icon award, in recognition of his banking career spanning over two decades.
Held on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank to celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent, the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was presented to an institution, Citibank, for the first time, recognizing its outstanding contribution to African banking since it started operating in Africa.
Senegal’s Amadou Ba won the Finance Minister of the year award, after successfully steering the nation’s economy which is today one of the best performing ones in Africa and only last week issued a Eurobond that was seven times oversubscribed.
The ‘African Central Bank Governor of the Year’ accolade was awarded to Rameswurlall Basant Roi of Mauritius, which has become one of the continent’s leading financial capitals, linked largely to the work Roi. The country’s financial services sector, the award organisers said in a statement, is one of the strongest in Africa and it has thriving capital markets.
Other award winners were: Best Retail Bank, Equity Bank (Kenya); Investment Bank of the Year, Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa); Award for Financial Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility, which went to Caisse Centrale de Garantie and Groupe Crédit Agricole, both of Morocco respectively. The award for innovation went to Ecobank for MasterCard; Deal of the Year – Equity OGP sale to Helios (Argentil); Deal of the Year – Debt Helios Towers, $600m debut High Yield Offering (Standard Bank); as well as Infrastructure Deal of the Year, AFC and Harith Asset Merger (Africa Finance Corporation). Best Regional Bank in North Africa, Attijariwafa Bank; Best Regional Bank in West Africa, Orabank; Best Regional Bank in Central Africa Trust Merchant Bank; Best Regional Bank in East Africa, KCB Bank; and Mauritius Commercial Bank, Best Regional Bank in Southern Africa.
Commenting on the ceremony, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker said: “This year’s entries in the financial inclusion and innovation categories were particularly encouraging. Financial inclusion is possibly the single most important priority so that we can mobilise funds and make this capital to work effectively. Banks are at the centre at this and rising to the challenge.”
This is the first time the African Banker Awards take place in India, more precisely in Ahmedabad, the capital of the state of Gujarat. As a shareholder in the African Development Bank, the Indian government offered to host this year’s Annual Meetings, which aims to strengthen its long-standing relationship with Africa.