By Kayode Tokede
On the heels of economic instability, investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) are anxiously awaiting leading banks’ dividend payout for financial year ended December 31, 2018.
Amid struggling Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in half year of 2018, decline yield on Treasury Bills and liquidity crunch, these leading banks reported improved earnings, coupled with interim dividend payout in half year results of 2018.
The like of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) and Zenith Bank Plc declared interim dividend of 30k per share respectively, while the management of Access Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa (UBA) proposed an interim dividend of N0.25 and N0.20 per share for the period under review respectively.
Capital market analysts who spoke with our correspondent said, Tier-1 banks are always competing on dividend payout to shareholders despite challenging business environment, stressing that shareholders are always on the alert every financial year ended December 31.
GTBank in a statement to NSE said the lender’s board and directors are expected to meet on January 30, 2019 to consider its audited financial statement for year ended December 31, 2018 and issues relating to full year dividend.
The statement signed by the company secretary, Mr. Erhi Obebeduo noted that the audited accounts would be forwarded to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for approval prior to the release of the results on the floor of the NSE.
Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect, Professor of finance at Nasarawa State University, Prof. Uche Uwaleke said, Tier-1 banks have constant dividend payout policy over improved earnings.
According to him, the dividend policy of these Tier-1 banks is active dividend policy as opposed to residual dividend policy.
“A bank like GTBank, Zenith Bank, UBA and Access Bank have maintained consistent dividend payout to shareholders in the last five years. Access Bank in 2017 financial year paid interim dividend of N0.25 kobo and later paid final dividend of N2.00. A total dividend paid by Access Bank was N2.50- that was one of the key points the bank used in the merger with Diamond Bank.
“Their dividend policy is driven by their competitors. GTBank is looking at what Zenith Bank is paying as dividend. We expect that with 2018 financial year, these banks should pay dividend to shareholders.”
He noted that the dividend payout to shareholders would impact on these banks’ share price going forward.
Speaking further he said, shareholders should be expecting improved dividend or they maintained the same amount paid to shareholders last year.
“I expected Access Bank to pay dividend higher than what was paid in 2017. At worst, the lender will maintain N0.25 kobo dividend payout to shareholders in 2017.
“Banks with low Non-Performing Loan Ratio in the Tier-1 region are also expected to pay dividend. However, banks with NPL ratio above 10 per cent as guided by CBN are not expected to pay dividend to shareholders. That was why, a bank like Diamond bank was unable to pay dividend for sometimes.”
He noted that Tier-1 banks might struggle to improve on their performance in 2018 and the major concern is the plummeting of leading banks share prices.
“The share price of Zenith bank and GTBank are trading below their intrinsic values on the Exchange. Going into this year, I see their share price appreciating but it will be based on the outcome of 2019 election.
“Once there is violence towards the election or after the election, this prediction may not come true. The investors will run away from stocks despite their devaluation. Their true value will not be seen until after the election. Everybody is watching to see the outcome of the election.
The Managing Director, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said the big banks are expected to pay good dividend to shareholders.
According to him “they will pay good returns, at least match last year’s return payout ratio. You will recall that the big banks actually did well in the half year results matched with interim dividend despite the difficulties in the nation’s economy.
“The economy was sluggish in 2018 and the best we could achieve was 1.91 per cent growth in GDP. The real sector of the economy was also sluggish which is tied to companies that provide funding to the economy.
“I want to believe that the like of GTBank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and UBA will pay shareholders reasonable dividend.
A shareholder, who does not want his name in print said, shareholders are anxiously expecting banks earnings and improved dividend for 2018 financial year.
He maintained that leading few banks might report improved dividend payout over impressive profit stressing that companies in the other sectors might struggle.
GTBank had paid a final dividend of 240k per unit of ordinary share held by shareholders in addition to interim dividend of 30k per unit of ordinary share bringing total dividend for 2017 financial year to N2.70 per unit of ordinary share.
Zenith Bank’s proposed a dividend of N55.57 billion (N2.45 kobo per share) as against N48.66 billion (N1.77 kobo per share) in 2016 and interim dividend paid in 2017 and 2016 was at N7.85 billion respectively.
For UBA, shareholders were paid N0.65 kobo for every ordinary share of 50kobo each in 2017 as against N0.55 kobo that was paid in 2016.
AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.
AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.
N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.
The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.
”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.
”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.
”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.
“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.
N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.
“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.
”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.
N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.
“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.
Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.
Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.
”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.”
NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu
The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.
Adepoju gave the assurance while inaugurating a new passport office in Igbogbo community in Ikorodu, Lagos State .
Adepoju said passports would now be processed and issued speedily provided applicants submit all the required details in their applications.
She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.
Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for providing all that was needed to start operation in the area.
“I thank the traditional ruler and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for ensuring the realisation of this project.
“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.
“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by some countries,” she said.
Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..
Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode, Commussioner for Home Affairs, said the role of Immigration in any country could not be over- emphasised.
He said that the establishment of the passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration services in line with global standard.
Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations at the new passport front office .
Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was maintained.
“We will also improve our security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.
He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents would no longer have to travel far to obtain or renew their passports.
“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.
“The council will also improve its security architecture to provide adequate security in the area,” he said.
Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in his domain.
He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.
Adeboruwa commended all those who facilitated the establishment of the passport office in the community.
“I cannot say how happy I am today, infact ,this office will put Igbogbo community in world map.
” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this a success,especially the family that donated the land .
“I am glad that Igbogbo passport office has come to stay,” he said.
Nigeria, Germany sign Siemens power project accelerated implementation agreement
President Bola Tinubu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were witnesses to the signing of an accelerated performance agreement in Dubai on the Siemens power project in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed on the side-line of the on-going 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 by Mr Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director of FGN Power Company on behalf of Nigeria.
Ms Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for Africa signed on behalf of the German company.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Anuwe highlighted Siemens Energy’s effective delivery of crucial equipment worth more than 63 million Euros to Nigeria since the commencement of the project.
This includes 10 units of 132/33KV mobile substations; three units of 75/100MVA transformers, and seven units of 60/66MVA transformers, currently being installed by FGN Power Company at various sites.
The Dubai agreement was signed to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.
The PPI, formerly known as the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap Initiative, was the outcome of the visit by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Abuja in August 2018.
An agreement was signed between the governments of Nigeria and Germany in 2019 to improve Nigeria’s power sector.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, stated on Friday in Abuja that since assumption of office, Tinubu had advocated the accelerated realisation and expansion of the PPI.
To achieve this, the project has been a major focal point in three rounds of bilateral discussions at meetings between President Tinubu and the German Chancellor in New Delhi, in Abuja and in Berlin.
The Dubai agreement will facilitate the modernisation and expansion of Nigeria’s electric power transmission grid with full supply, delivery and installation of Siemens-manufactured equipment within 18 to 24 months, Ajuri stated.
It will ensure project sustainability and maintenance with full technology transfer and training of Nigerian engineers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), he added.
The project will also focus on identified load demand centres with particular emphasis on economic and industrial hubs nationwide and the execution of new 330kV and 132/33KV substations in target load centres with economic priority.
These are in addition to thousands of kilometres of overhead transmission lines to connect new substations with existing ones, Ajuri also stated.
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