Cape Town – After increasing its earnings by 77 percent to R83,3 million in the year to March, Mettle, the independent merchant bank which lists later this year, is expecting “outstanding results” in the year to March 2000, John Copelyn, the chairman, said in his annual review. Copelyn said he expected much from recent reforms, which included the assumption of control by management and the purchase of 29,8 percent of the equity by the empowerment group HCI. Copelyn took over from Christo Wiese, the chairman of Boland Bank, who remains on the board even though the stake of the Boland-BOE-NBS combine has been diluted down from effective control. Other changes expected to give Mettle a boost are its recently acquired banking licence and the opening of an office in the UK. “These features, together with Mettle’s ability to pioneer and innovate, to remain lithe and agile and to generate unconventional financial solutions for its clients, should enable Mettle to produce outstanding results for the 12 months to March 2000.” Ian Matthews, the managing director, said that all three of Mettle’s specialized divisions – corporate finance, treasury and structured products – made important contributions to group earnings. Mettle has always made it clear that it would focus on its existing three specialities.

Source: Business Report