Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Access Bank Nigeria Plc, is set to continue its tradition of rewarding shareholders at half year, a notice sent by the company to the Nigerian Stock Exchange last week indicated. The Nigerian lender indicated that its board of directors would meet on Friday July 26, 2019 to consider and approve its audited interim financial statement for the year ended June 30, 2019.
“The audited accounts will be submitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for approval before release on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The company has also declared a close period in respect of transaction on its securities from July 6, 2019 to such a date as will be subsequently announced (both days inclusive) in compliance with the listing rules of the NSE”, a statement authorised by Sunday Ekwochi, company’s secretary, stated.
“The payment of interim dividend may also be considered at the meeting”, Ekwochi added.
Traditionally, Access Bank has consistently paid interim dividend to shareholders about August of the financial year. In 2015, it announced N0.25 per share interim dividend on August 20, 2015 with September 3 and 10 of that year as closure and payment dates respectively. It also announced N0.25 interim dividend on August 19, 2016 with September 6 and 13 as closure and payment dates respectively.
Furthermore, the bank announced N0.25 interim dividend on August 23, 2017 with September 7 and 21 as closure and payment dates respectively. Similarly, on August 28, 2018, Access Bank proposed N0.25 interim dividend to shareholders with September 11 and 21 as payment dates respectively.
With 35.5 billion shares outstanding, and should Access Bank maintain its tradition of paying N0.25 as interim dividend, total dividend payout will be in the region of N8.88 billion. And at 20.41 percent dividend payout ratio, total comprehensive income might hit N44 billion at half year 2019.
The announcement has triggered some enthusiasm around the stock in the sense that Access Bank gained 1.52 percent on the last trading day of the week to close at N6.70 per share as investors traded 10.44 million shares worth N69.16 million. Its 52-week high is N10.50 per share while the corresponding 52-week low is N5.20. Year to date, its share price is down by -1.50 percent.
In the first quarter of this year, ended March 31 2019, Access Bank, post merger with Diamond Bank, announced N56.83 billion as net interest income representing 27.3 percent increase over N44.65 billion realised in similar period in 2018.
Net fee and commission income was marginally down to N13.07 billion in March 2019 as against N13.92 billion in corresponding period in 2018. Profit before tax for the period was N45.1 billion compared with N27.44 billion in similar period in 2018. Profit for the period was N41.1 billion in contrast to N22.1 billion in 2018. The total comprehensive income was N47.03 billion compared with N16.82 billion same period in 2018.
During the second quarter of this year, Access Bank redeemed its $400 million subordinated unsecured notes on June 24, 2019, with accrued interest. In the first quarter, Access Bank accessed $162.5 million syndicated loan arranged by FMO, the Dutch Development Finance Institution.