(Corrects para 5 to 'writebacks' from 'writedowns', clarifies
they were in H1 2013)
LAGOS Aug 6 Nigeria's Union Bank aims
to boost its loan portfolio by 30 percent in the second half of
2014, after increasing it by 10 percent in the first six months,
targeting retail and business customers, its chief finance
"In the second half we would do 30 percent (in loans). We
closed December 2013 at 231 billion naira loan book. We are
looking generally in the region of 40 percent growth for 2014,"
CFO, Oyinkan Adewale told Reuters in a phone interview.
Union Bank was bailed out in 2009, along with eight other
Nigerian banks in the wake of a financial crisis. A private
equity consortium recapitalised the lender, which reported last
week that its first-half pretax profit fell by a third, on lower
Shares in Union Bank, which have fallen 14.3 percent this
year, were up 0.2 percent at 8.20 naira on Wednesday.
Adewale said she expected the second-half profit to be
"strong" without giving a guidance for the full year, but said
that the fall in the first-half was due to one-off writebacks in
the first six months of 2013, which would not occur in the
She said management was rebuilding Union Bank after the
bailout and the lender was upgrading its banking software and
human resources to be able to compete with rivals like First
Bank and Zenith Bank.
(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Tim Cocks and Susan