April 21, 2017 / 10:52 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Ivory Coast's SIB bank net profit up 15 pct, wary of cocoa sector

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ABIDJAN, April 21 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s Societe Ivoirienne de Banque (SIB) posted a net profit of 17.09 billion CFA francs ($28.12 million) for 2016, up 15 percent from the previous year, and said it would limit lending to the cocoa sector amid plummeting prices.

Net banking income for SIB, controlled by Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank and listed on the West African bourse last year, rose 16 percent to 50.73 billion CFA francs, the bank said in a statement late on Thursday.

A sharp drop in global cocoa prices has caused Ivory Coast, the world’s top producer, to slash its 2017 budget by a tenth, President Alassane Ouattara said this week.

The bank will target lending toward less risky sectors in an effort to boost its results by 10 percent in 2017, it said.

“The 2017 fiscal year began with a sharp drop in cocoa prices and social unrest which will have an undeniable impact on Ivory Coast’s state investments,” the statement said.

“In this context, SIB’s financing activities will continue with a greater focus on less sensitive sectors and a continuation of the risk policy it has led for several years.”

$1 = 607.7200 CFA francs Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans

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