The shares of Nigeria’s tier-1 lender, Zenith Bank Plc rallied in early trading on Friday February 21 as investors rush to take equity position in the bank which proposes N2.50kobo final dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2019.
As at 12.38pm, Zenith Bank followed the topmost gainer on the Bourse after its shares increased from N19.4 to N20, after adding 60kobo or 3.09percent.
The Board of Directors, pursuant to the powers vested in it by the provisions of section 379 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of Nigeria, proposed a final dividend of N2.50 per share.
Zenith Bank outstanding shares are 31,396,493,786 units. The proposed final dividend translates to N78.5billion final dividend payout. The register of the company will close on March 10, 2020 while the qualification date is on March 9, 2020.
The final dividend which in addition to the 30kobo per share paid as interim dividend amounts to N2.80 per share (2018: Interim dividend of N0.30 per share and final of N2.50 per share) from the retained earnings account as at December 31, 2019. This will be presented for ratification by the shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting.
Zenith Bank is one of the tier-1 banks which analysts expect their financial scorecards, if stronger than expected, will spur buy sentiment at the local bourse.
The financial result released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) shows gross earnings of Zenith Bank group increased by 5.1percent while profit before tax increased by 5percent.
Gross earnings increased to N662.251billion in 2019 from N630.344billion in 2018. Profit before tax (PBT) increased to N243.294billion in 2019 from N231.685billion in 2018. Profit after tax also rose to N208.843billion from N193.424billion in 2018.
The principal activity of the bank is the provision of banking and other financial services to corporate and individual customers.
Such services include obtaining deposits from the public, granting of loans and advances, corporate finance and money market activities.
The Bank has six subsidiary companies namely, Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited, Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited, Zenith Bank (UK) Limited, Zenith Bank (Sierra Leone) Limited, Zenith Bank (The Gambia) Limited and Zenith Nominees Limited. During the year, the Bank opened thirteen new branches and no branch was closed.
As at December 31, 2019 the Group had 430 branches, 178 cash centers; 2,093 ATM terminals; 50,427 POS terminals and
7,745,176 cards issued to its customers. (December 31, 2018: 417 branches, 256 cash centers, 1,891 ATM terminals, 34,006 POS terminals and 5,732,820 cards issued).