By NKIRUKA NNOROM
Investors swooped on the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank, GTB, last week after the bank said that its Board of Directors will be meeting this week to consider the possibility of paying an interim dividend.
GTB had in a notice mid-week to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, said that the Board would meet to consider among others, the audited financial statement for the half year ended 30th June, 2013, as well as issues relating to interim dividend.
Though the amount likely to be paid was not disclosed, investors’ increased patronage for the shares of the bank resulted in 2.83 percent rise within two days. Following the announcement, the share price rose by 1.53 percent or N0.39 from N25.45 to N25.84 on Wednesday, a day after.
On Thursday, the share price again rose by 1.22 percent or N0.33 from N25.84 to N26.17, thereby bringing the total percentage gains to 2.63 percent, also making the stock the highest priced in the banking sector.
Operators said that increase seen in the bank was as a result of excitement by investors over the intended dividend. They added there is also the expectation that the dividend for 2013 will surpass that of the previous year as income rises from expansion.
GTB had in 2012 paid gross dividend of N45.62 billion, which amounted to N1.30 per share. This, along with N0.25 paid in the first half of the year brought the total dividend to N1.55 per share.
“We have declared the best results in the industry in the last few years and provided shareholders the best return on equity for any financial institution in Africa.
“We intend to continuously reward our shareholders for the confidence they have in us and remain committed to teamwork, integrity and customer satisfaction as a bank, assured Mr. Segun Agbaje, Managing Director, GTB, at the last yearly meeting in Lagos”
Agbaje further stated that the bank intends to consolidate its position in 2013 by pioneering service innovations, developing alternate banking channels, promoting excellence and creating role models for society.
The Group’s financials for the 2012 financial year showed gross earnings of N221.9 billion and a profit before tax of N103 billion.
Total assets and contingents increased by six percent to N2.26 trillion in December 31, 2012 from N2.14 trillion in the previous year, while it closed the year with an On-balance sheet of N1.73 trillion.