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AGM 2019: Zenith Bank Declares N2.50 Dividends

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Shareholders of Zenith Bank have approved the proposal of the board to pay a final dividend of N2.50k per share as dividends for the 2018 financial year.

The shareholders gave the approval at the 28th Annual General Meeting of the bank in Lagos.

The directors proposed a final dividend of N2.50 per share in addition to the N0.30 per share paid as interim dividend amounting to N2.80 per share, as against the N2.70 per share in 2017.

The bank earmarked N87.91 billion for total dividend payment to shareholders for 2018 financial year as against N84.77 billion paid in 2017.

The Chairman of the bank, Mr Jim Ovia, said that the bank remained committed to delivering superior returns to its much valued shareholders by ensuring that a good chunk of its profits was set aside for shareholders.

“In clear demonstration of this, we had declared and paid an interim dividend of 30 kobo per share in the course of the 2018 financial year.

“We hereby propose a final dividend of 250 kobo per share. If approved, this will bring the total dividend for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018 to 280 kobo per share as against 270 kobo per share that was paid in the previous year.”

Speaking further on the financial results, Ovia said that 2018 was challenging year for all operators in the Nigerian banking industry.

He said the bank was able to fully exploit the opportunities within the environment to record a performance that attested to its durability and resilience as a brand.

“Clearly, the results are once again, a reflection of the exceptional financial of the exceptional financial health of the bank and the group.

“For the bank, total deposit was N2.82 trillion for the year ended December 31, 2018, representing a 2.9 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of N2.74 trillion.

“Profit Before Tax rose by 13.6 per cent from N169 billion in 2017 to N192 billion in 2018.

“Profit-After- Tax similarly rose by 7.8 per cent from N153 billion in 2017 to N165 billion in 2018.

“During the same period, total assets of the bank grew by 2.7 per cent from N4.83 trillion to N4.96 trillion, while shareholders’ fund declined by 3 3 per cent from N698 billion to N675 billion.

“Gross earnings similarly declined by 0.2 per cent from N674 billion in year 2017 to N538 billion in 2018.”

Also as a group, Ovia said that the performance indices were no less remarkable.

According to him, the Group’s profit before tax grew by 16.6 per cent from N199 billion in year 2017 to N232 billion in 2018.

“Profit-after-tax grew by 10.9 per cent during the period from N174 billion in 2017 to N193 billion in 2018 while customer customers’ deposit grew by 7.3 per cent during the same period from N3.44 trillion to an3.69 trillion.

“Group shareholders’ fund grew by 0.5 per cent from N812 billion in 2017 to N816 billion in 2018, gross earnings dropped by 15.4 per cent from N745 billion in 2017 to N630 billion in 2018,” he said.

The Zenith Bank Managing Director, Mr Peter Amangbo, said the bank’s drive toward entrenching sustainable principle in its business operations gained further momentum in the year under review.

Amangbo said the bank would continue to place a high premium on developing a robust risk management framework which had helped in promoting the soundness of the financial institution in protecting its assets and ensuring its growth.

“We are committed to entrenching a robust enterprise risk management, global best practices in corporate governance and sustainability in the coming year,” he said. (NAN)

BIG STORY

Kings of Finance: GTBank Named Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event and will be published in the June issue of the African Business magazine.

In a special report examining the results of the 2020 survey, the founder of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said GTBank’s “clever marketing, global presence and some of its flagship food and fashion events have undoubtedly helped make it a fixture of daily life in some of its key markets, especially its home base Nigeria.” He added that the bank, which recently won plaudits for building a 110-bed Care Centre in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, “has taken banking and finance to the people.”

GTBank has long been regarded as one of Africa’s outstanding brands and enjoys a massive youth following thanks to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement. It currently commands the largest social media following amongst all financial institutions in Africa and in 2019, the Bank hosted over 700,000 people at its consumer-focused events, GTBank Food and Drink Festival and The GTBank Fashion Weekend, among them dozens of business leaders and industry experts from around the world.

In 2019, GTBank removed all banking charges for young undergraduates under the age of 25 on its GTCrea8 Account Package. The move was unprecedented in the financial services sector but not unusual for a bank that had pioneered Zero-Naira Account Opening in the country, and in which people over the age of 65 also bank for free. GTBank is also blazing the trail in digital technologies; after leading the USSD banking revolution in Nigeria with its 737 Service, the bank is driving the digitization of consumer lending with Quick Credit, a first-of-its-kind digital lending product that gives individuals and small businesses instant, real-time access to loans anytime, anywhere via their mobile phones.

Brand Africa’s ranking of GTBank as Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand is only one of its many accolades. In 2019, the was recognized as the Best Bank in Africa and Best Bank in Nigeria, by the Euromoney Magazine and the Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria by World Finance Magazine. In the same year, the Bank also dominated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards for the third year in a row, taking home 8 of the 12 honours for banks at the forefront of driving the digitalization of financial services.




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BUSINESS

COVID-19: CBN Issues Directive To Banks, Reduces Interest Rates

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reduced interest rates on its facilities through participating in Other Financial Institutions (OFIs).

The rate has been slashed from 9 to 5 percent per for one year, effective March 1, 2020.

This was contained in a circular to banks on Wednesday by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kevin Amugo.

Similarly, CBN intervention facilities obtained through participating OFIs, Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Primary Mortgage Banks, among others would be given a further one-year moratorium on all principal repayments.

This is also effective on March 1, 2020.

OFIs have equally been granted leave to consider temporary and time-limited restructuring of the tenor and loan terms for households and businesses, subject to the recently issued guidelines for restructuring affected credit facilities in the OFI sub-sector.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okoroafor, said the decisions were part of the bank’s efforts to cushion the effects of coronavirus on Nigerians, businesses and regulated institutions.

He assured that the CBN would also continue to monitor developments and implement appropriate measures to safeguard financial stability and support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the CBN for the month of May will be held on Thursday.




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GTBank Celebrates Children’s Day

Gbemileke Ajayi

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