With the approval of its shareholders, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has endorsed the payment of N22 billion final dividend declared by the board for the financial year ended December 31, 2018. This translates to final payment of 65 kobo as dividend for every ordinary share of 50 kobo each with the total dividend of N0.85 per share.
Speaking at the bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which held in Lagos, National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Boniface Okezie, commended the board and management for the dividend despite unfriendly operating environment. Okezie noted that with the financial results, UBA had shown that it could make Africa proud; being the biggest bank, while adding that the payment by the bank to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was worrisome.
He said, “In the last two years, we have paid over N30bn to AMCON. It is time AMCON sets its eyes elsewhere on making their money as it is impacting negatively on our dividend.” Corroborating Okezie, Nona Awo, another shareholder, noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needed to stop depriving shareholders of the benefits of their investment in companies. Awo also commended the bank’s subsidiaries for improved contribution to the company’s performance indicators.
Responding, Chairman, Board of Directors of UBA, Tony Elumelu, assured shareholders that the group was on a stronger footing to gain market share in Nigeria and 19 other African countries where it operated. Elumelu noted that despite the relatively slow recovery of the economy, the group’s retail deposit grew by 42 per cent, a testament to its improved service channels and enhanced customer service.
“Overall, the group recorded a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of N106.8bn. Our interest income also rose by 11 per cent on the back of increased asset base and African operations contributed 40 per cent of these earnings, reinforcing the positive outlook on our group’s profitability over the medium to long terms,” he said.
Group Managing Director of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, said the bank remained liquid and well capitalised with its Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 24 per cent, adding that even under a BASEL III scenario, its capital buffer remained strong to support growth. Uzoka revealed that politics would continue to shape the business environment in Nigeria and other African countries but however maintained that the group remained optimistic and would continue to deepen its play in target growth sectors that were benefactors of the government’s reforms and policies while banking new opportunities.