Shareholders of Fidelity Bank Plc, at the weekend, commended the lender for the success of its $400 million Eurobond issuance in 2017, even as they approved the bank’s N3.19 billion total dividend for the financial year.
The dividend translates to 11 kobo per share payable to shareholders whose names appeared on the register of members at the close of business on May 11.
The shareholders, who gave the approval at the bank’s yearly general meeting in Lagos, also commended the bank for the impressive performance posted during the review period.
The President of Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders, Dr Farouk Umar, lauded the bank for declaring dividend amid harsh operating environment, as well as the success recorded on the $400 million five-year Eurobond at 10.5 per cent raised in 2017.
“A lot of shareholders panicked when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that banks with low Capital Adequacy Ratio and high non-performing loans would not be allowed to pay dividend. For Fidelity Bank to declare dividend showed that it is in the good books of the CBN,” he said.
A member of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Moses Ogundeji, noted that the bank has recorded improved performance as shown in all indices.
He urged the bank to do everything within its powers to consolidate on the performance for a higher dividend payout in the next financial year.
Reviewing its performance, the Managing Director of the bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the bank is aware of the growing opportunities in the nation’s market, adding that the bank would continue to focus on redesigning systems and processes to enhance service delivery, as well as deepen cost optimisation initiatives to reduce operating expenses and cost-to-service.
“Clearly, our success in 2017 financial year has set a strong pedestal for sustained growth in revenue. We are optimistic about a favorable operating environment and we look forward to delivering decent set of numbers at the end of 2018 financial year, “ Okonkwo said.
The Chairman of the bank, Ernest Ebi, explained that the bank’s profit after tax soared by 94 per cent to N18.9 billion compared with N9.7 billion in the comparable period of 2016, while profit before tax also grew by N9.24 billion or 83.6 per cent to N20.3 billion from N11 billion in the preceding year.
By Helen Oji
The Guardian Newspaper May 28th, 2018