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Awash International Bank S.C., a pioneer in Ethiopiaís banking industry, earned 861 million birr in gross profits in the last fiscal year. That is a 35 percent increase when compared to the previous year. 

Awash, which has been in business for 20 years, will soon open an additional 50 branches across the country raising its total to 200.

Deposits grew from 13.1 billion to 16.1 billion birr. Loans rose by 19 percent to 16.1 billion birr.

The bankís paid up capital reached 1.4 billion birr and they have plans to raise it to three billion birr in the next three years.

ìThe performance we have achieved over the last twenty years gives us courage to do more,î Tsehay Shiferaw, president of the bank said during a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel on November 25.

ìOnly 10 million people have bank accounts in Ethiopia so we have a lot of opportunity to bring in more customers, now we want to work on mobile banking to reach more people and open more branches in rural areas, while at the same time providing more loans,î he added.

The Bank has already installed 100 additional ATMís (Automated Teller Machines) in Addis Ababa and in other major regional cities which provide 24 hour service to the public. In addition, 500 Point of Sales (POS) Machines were installed at supermarkets, hotels, cinema, public recreation areas, hospitals and at other convenient locations where a large volume of transactions occur.

The bank also gave 2.3 million birr to seven humanitarian organizations. Macedonian and Abebeche Gobenna were among the humanitarians that were given the grant.

Awash International Bank SC (AIB) is the pioneer private commercial bank in Ethiopia. It came along after the downfall of the military regime and introduction of a market economic policy in 1991. It was established by 486 founder shareholders with a paid-up capital of 24.2 million birr. Awash currently employs 4,787 people.