GTB to pay shareholders highest dividend in 30 years

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc will pay a final dividend per share of N2.70 for 2020 to its shareholders having paid an interim dividend of N0.30 earlier. This is the biggest dividend payout for the bank in its 30-year history.

This means that Nigeria’s biggest DMB by market value will commit N88.294 billion to rewarding shareholders for the 2020 financial year, should its board get stockholders’ nod to pay the proposed N2.70 final dividend at its  annual general meeting billed for April 9. This was contained in the audited earnings report of GTB released Thursday.

The dividend proposal is 7.1 per cent higher than the N2.80 paid for the preceding year.

Gross earnings climbed to N455.230 billion up from N435.307 billion, equivalent to a 4.6 per cent growth.

Earnings took a hit from an almost three times jump in provision for bad debt from N4.912 billion a year earlier. GTB set aside N19.573 billion to cater for a potential surge in loan delinquency in the aftermath of the pandemic outbreak.

Nigerian banks will likely see their impaired loans deteriorate considerably and rise by between 10 and 12 per cent of total credit asset come the end of December, New York-headquartered credit rating agency Fitch said in an estimate last December.

Also hurting earnings, net fee and commission income narrowed by more than one-fifth from N59.444 billion in 2019 to N46.935 billion, while depreciation and amortisation scaled up from N22.693 billion to N29.047 billion, translating to an increase of 30 per cent.

On the cost side, operating expenses rose from N130.971 billion to N147.438 billion.

That suggests a 12.6 per cent jump in one year but the rate remains lower than the average inflation rate of 13.22 per cent for last year, depicting cost effectiveness in the bank’s operations.

for the year grew 2.33 per cent from N196.849 billion to N201.440 billion.

GTB announced in November it had received an approval-in-principle from industry watchdog Central Bank of Nigeria to transition to a holding company by way of a scheme of merger between the lender and its shareholders.

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