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GTB, Access Bank, Zenith Bank’s directors meet over dividend payment

The boards of directors of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc, Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc have scheduled meetings later this month to approve the audited financial statement and accounts of the banks for the year ended December 31, 2016. The meetings will among others consider final dividend recommendation to be made to shareholders.

In separate regulatory filing, the three banks indicated that their directors would be meeting to review and approve the earnings report and accounts for the 2016 business year, preparatory to sending the accounts for the clearance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before release to the investing public at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Under the enhanced listing rules at the NSE which took off on January 1, 2017, quoted companies are expected to submit their annual audited account to the Exchange not later than 90 calendar days after the relevant year end, and published same in at least two national daily newspapers not later than 21 calendar days before the date of the annual general meeting. They are also required to post same on their websites with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publications. Also, an electronic copy of the publication shall be filed with the Exchange on the same day as the publication.

The three leading banks had paid interim dividend of 25 kobo to shareholders based on their half-year results. The share prices of the three banks rose at the weekend at the NSE as expectant investors sought to take positions ahead of the meetings and announcement of the final dividends by the banks. GTB’s share price rose by 7.0 kobo to close weekend at N23.54. Access Bank added 14 kobo to close at N6.28 per share while Zenith Bank’s share price rose by 27 kobo to N14.77 per share.

Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of GTB for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2016 had shown that gross earnings rose by 43.6 per cent to N329.28 billion by September 2016 as against N229.37 billion in comparable period of 2015. Operating income rose by 59.3 per cent from N174.42 billion to N277.85 billion. Profit before tax grew by 53 per cent to N140.84 billion as against N92.06 billion while profit after rose by 59.6 per cent from N75.16 billion in September 2015 to N119.93 billion in September 2016. Earnings per share closed September 2016 at N4.24 as against N2.65 in September 2015.

Also, key extracts of the nine-month report of Access Bank for the period ended September 30, 2016 released at the weekend showed that profit before tax rose by 19 per cent to N72 billion in third quarter 2016 as against N60.4 billion in comparable period of 2015. Also, net profit after tax rose by the same margin from N48.1 billion in third quarter 2015 to N57.1 billion in third quarter 2016. Gross earnings had risen from N257.6 billion to N274.5 billion. The growth in gross earnings was driven by 17 per cent increase in interest income on the back of continued growth in the Bank’s core business. Operating income rose to N199.3 billion in third quarter 2016 as against N178.1 billion in corresponding period of 2015.

Access Bank also improved on the supporting balance sheet for its business. Customer deposits also grew by 25 per cent to N2.1 trillion by September 2016 as against N1.68 trillion recorded at the beginning of the year. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the bank stood at 19 per cent as at September 2016, well above the regulatory minimum. The bank’s asset quality ratios remained well above the regulatory benchmark of 5.0 per cent as the percentage of Non-Performing Loans (NPL) to total gross loans stood at 2.1 per cent. The NPL coverage ratio also remained strong at 209.5 per cent.

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