Shareholders of five banks will receive a sum of N149 billion in dividends for the 2015 financial year despite the poor state of capital market in 2015.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index, which measures the aggregate performance of the stock market declined by over 17 per cent in 2015 due to the economic headwinds.
Given the challenging operating environment and stiff regulatory environment, it was expected that investors in the banking sector of the market may not earn much for 2015 financial year. Although five banks have sent profit warning to the market, other five banks that have announced their results have recommended dividends valued at N149 billion for their shareholders.
The banks are: Zenith Bank Plc, GTBank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Access Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc. The five banks recorded growth in profit, hence the recommendation of dividends for shareholders.
Zenith Bank Plc recommended the highest dividend of N56.5 billion, which is N1.80 per share. GTBank followed with N52 billion or N1.77 per share. UBA Plc is giving out N21.7 billion or 60 kobo per share. Shareholders of Access Bank Plc are to receive a total dividend of N16 billion or 55 kobo per share, while Sterling Bank Plc is giving out N2.6 billion.
Speaking on the dividends, a shareholder and member of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr. Moses Igbrude said the banks needed to be commended considering the challenging environment in which they operated.
“It is heart-warming and encouraging to note that some of the banks are making profit and rewarding shareholders with dividends. We all see the rising cost of running businesses in the country. Besides, the challenging environment has made many companies to suffer losses and thereby exposing the banks to higher risks. Despite these challenges, banks that are able to manage their operations, record profit and declare dividends should be commended. I therefore believe the banks should be hailed,” he said.
Igbrude added that the dividends are good for investors because it would enhance their liquidity position after payment. Among the five banks that have announced their results, Access Bank Plc recorded the highest profit growth. The bank grew its profit after tax by 53 per cent from N43.1 billion in 2014 to N65.9 billion. UBA followed with a growth of 25, rising N47.9 billion to N59.65 billion.
Commenting on the results, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: “Guided by a robust risk management framework, our diversified business model yielded positive results as we grew the business cautiously and recorded sound prudential ratios.”
Similarly, speaking on the performance, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA, Mr. Phillips Oduoza said: ” Our 2015 profit is a new high, reflecting the hard work and discipline of our Board, Management and Staff in creating value for all stakeholders.”