Finance

Recession: Shareholders’ hopes shrink as banks’ directors meet

Shareholders’ expectation of robust dividend payout by listed companies may be shrinking as the boards and managements of Access Bank Plc., Zenith Bank Plc., others are set to meet this week to decide on 2016 financial report and dividend payout.

The board and management of Zenith Bank are expected to meet on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 while Access Bank’s meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2017.

Other banks scheduled to meet and recommend dividends for shareholders are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Despite the macro economic challenges in the financial industry and turbulent foreign exchange crisis, the above banks had paid an interim dividend in the half year of 2016.

For the interim half year reports, GTBank, Zenith Bank and Access Bank proposed N0.25 dividend respectively while UBA’s shareholders are to benefit N0.20 per share interim dividend.

According to analysts, Zenith Bank Plc. was expected to have paid 648,725 shareholders N7.85 billion interim dividends while GTBank paid 336,080 shareholders N7.4 billion.

UBA Plc. might have paid N7.3 billion to 76,806 shareholders while 818,664 shareholders of Access Bank Plc. were meant to receive a total dividend of N7.2 billion on September 19, 2016.

Speaking on dividends, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr. Boniface Okezie, in a chat with Nigerian Tribune, said shareholders should not be expecting increase in dividend payout on the heels of challenging business environment.

According to him, “Shareholders should not expect anything from bankers other than dividend and banks like Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank must pay dividend, no matter the terrain they operated.

 

“All the real sector players that borrowed from the banks to do their businesses are not even paying up and these are depositors’ funds. Oil companies, power sector companies are not paying back, so where are banks going to get the dividend to pay shareholders? These are the challenges banks are facing,” he explained.

Source: Tribune

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