Barclays cashes in on crisis


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Barclays, one of the largest commercial banks in the country, cashed in on the liquidity crisis that rocked the financial sector in the last quarter of 2003, “which saw all cash surplus institutions making a killing, as margins were stretched to unimaginably high levels”.

The bank ended with net earnings of $43.9 billion last year up from $6.7 billion in 2002.

Net interest income, which was the main contributor to total income increased by 856 percent from $11.8 billion to $112.5billion while other income quadrupled from $8.3 billion to $36.5 billion.

Profit before tax was down to $65.7 billion after the company paid a whopping $35 billion in restructuring costs which saw the bank close down about 10 branches.

Market analysts said the bank’s efficiency ratio improved from 47 percent to 30 percent, the lowest cost to income ratio ever reported by the bank.

The banking crisis which saw investors abandoning indigenous-owned banks in favour of more established banks has seen Barclays’ share soaring by 157 percent in the first four months of this year, making it the second best performer on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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