Zenith Bank Plc has reported a N57.11bn drop in the value of its total assets over a six-month period.
The financial statement of the bank for the period ended June 30, 2019 was made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The value of the total assets, which stood at N5.95tn as of December 31, 2018, dropped to N5.89tn at the end of the first half of the year.
The bank also reported a decrease in its liabilities from N5.14tn to N5.08tn in the first half of the year.
Zenith Bank’s profit before tax increased to N111.68bn in H1, compared to the N107.36bn recorded in the same period in 2018.
Profit after tax stood at N88.88bn, up from N81.74bn in 2018.
The bank proposed an inerim dividend of 30 kobo per share for the first half of the year.
The bank also said it planned to accelerate lending in the second half of the year as its loan-to-deposit ratio fell short of the regulator’s minimum target.
The loan book dropped by three per cent to N1.95tn ($5.bn) for the six months through June, while customer deposits increased by the same percentage to N3.8tn.
The Central Bank of Nigeria had in July told all banks to use at least 60 per cent of their deposits for loans by the end of September or face a penalty.
The apex bank said it aimed to fuel credit to grow the economy.
Zenith Bank said in an emailed note to Bloomberg, “We are creatively deploying new retail loan products to ensure we capture a reasonable share of the retail loan market.”
It stated that an increase in lending would enable it to improve its non-performing loan ratio, which deteriorated to 5.3 per cent from five per cent, owing to the drop in credit in the first half.