Shareholders of Co-operative Bank Group are set to receive their 2019 dividends as from next week Thursday.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to the postponement of the Annual General Meeting, the beneficiaries will get Sh1.00 per share, which amounts to a total cash payment of Sh5.9 Billion.
According to a statement released by the bank, the dividends will be released in a bid to offer most timely relief and boost the ongoing efforts to mitigate the severe economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the current Covid-19 challenges, the need to release the much needed funds to the grassroots in the over 15-million-member cooperative movement and in line with CMA guidelines, the bank is progressing to make the dividend payment for ratification at the next AGM,”
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA), allowed firms to pay dividends without approval from shareholders on April 3. This has informed the move by the bank to release the dividends much earlier than last year when they received dividends from June 7.
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The pay-out will see top shareholder, Co-op Holdings Co-operative Society Limited pocket Sh3.79 billion with a stake of 64.56 percent, while CEO Gideon Muriuki will get Sh117.7 million for his two percent stake.
Amarjeet Baloobhai Patel and Baloobhai Chhotabhai Patel, who are the seventh highest shareholders will receive Sh20.2 million for their 0.34 percent stake.
Co-operative Bank Group's net profit grew 12.4 percent to Sh14.3 billion last year, lifted by strong growth in non-interest income. Total non-interest income, mainly from fees and commissions on loans and advances, increased by 33 percent from Sh12.8 billion to Sh17.3 billion. The lender went public in 2008 at an offer price of Sh9.5, equivalent to an aggregate value of Sh33.2 billion.
The bank is now the second Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm to announce that it will pay dividends ahead of an AGM, after agricultural firm Kakuzi issued a similar notice.