Published:Wednesday | May 11, 2022 | 12:10 AM

Buoyed by a fourfold growth in profit for the March quarter, NCB Financial Group Limited has a favourable outlook on the periods ahead, despite the global uncertainties sparked by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Its optimism rests in part on rising interest rates that are being used as a tool to tame inflation.

“Just as the world saw an easing of restrictions with the pandemic, we now have to contend with the uncertainty from the conflict in Eastern Europe,” said NCB Financial Group President and CEO Patrick Hylton during an online investor briefing on Tuesday.

“The economic ramifications of the war, when combined with the pandemic, has not spared any nation or company from a leadership challenge of a lifetime…It is within this context that NCB Financial Group remains focused and committed in our aspirations of being a world-class Caribbean ecosystem,” he said.

NCB Financial made net profit of $7.8 billion over the March quarter 2022, about four times the $1.9 billion profit earned a year prior, due to higher revenue and one-off gains. Interest income rose to $22.4 billion, compared to $19.4 billion a year earlier.

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”The second quarter represents our highest quarter since the onset of the pandemic,” said Group CFO and Deputy CEO Dennis Cohen.

“Increased interest rates in Jamaica, along with the expectation of continued loan growth, should drive higher net interest income in our banking and asset management segments,” Cohen said.

The Bank of Jamaica started raising interest rates last September, which has been adjusted from 0.5 per cent then to 4.5 per cent now.

Between October and March, NCB Financial made a profit of $10.4 billion, up 77 year-on-year from $5.9 billion.

The banking group has again opted not to pay a dividend this quarter.