Yinager Dessie (PhD) (right), governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), awarded Abennet Gebremeskel (left), CEO of MIDROC Ethiopia

Yinager Dessie (PhD) (right), governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), awarded Abennet Gebremeskel (left), CEO of MIDROC Ethiopia, a recognition plaque at a lavish silver jubilee Dashen Bank held at the Sheraton Addis on February 24, 2020. Looking at Abennet, whose company was recognised as one of the Bank’s biggest clients in terms of loans and deposits, were also Asfaw Alemu (centre-left), the Bank’s CEO, and Neway Beyene, its board chairperson. The latter two also gave speeches inside the hall that was decorated in navy blue, Dashen’s trademark colour.

The Bank spared few costs, starting the day with the federal police marching band on Sudan Street right by the headquarters it inaugurated three years ago. It was built by MIDROC Construction for about a billion Birr. It also sponsored Sheger Public Transport Bus to give service for free for a whole day. The celebrations will continue, its President said, for the next six months, including a photo exhibition and a visit to Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia from which the private bank gets its name.

Employing over 10,000 people and serving 1.5 million customers, the Bank that started its operations with 14 million Br in capital has risen to celebrate new heights this year. It outperformed most of its peers in the private sector by netting a profit of 1.54 billion Br in the past fiscal year, a figure that grew by 52pc in a reporting period dominated by news of a global pandemic and political unrest in Ethiopia. Its paid-up capital today stands at 3.5 billion Br, 24,900pc of what it was a quarter of a century ago.

There have been challenges along the way though, including during the last fiscal year. Dashen was among the commercial banks included in the central bank’s red list for a liquidity crisis that hit the industry. It was among nine banks to have dipped below the minimum threshold for assets held in cash.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 27,2021 [ VOL 21 , NO 1087]

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