ZENITH Bank Plc is to pay a dividend of N1.75 per share to its shareholders for the 2013 financial year. According to the company’s result sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, the bank noted that this would be subject to the approval by its shareholders at its forth coming annual general meeting.
The results showed that its profit before tax grew by 8.3 percent from N102 billion at the end of the 2012 financial year, to N110 billion in the year under consideration; while its gross earnings also rose by 14.5 percent to N351 billion, up from N307 billion which it recorded the previous year. The result also showed that net assets rose by 10 percent from N462billion at the end of 2012, to N509billion in the year under review.
Meanwhile, trading activities on the NSE closed on a positive note as major indicators recorded marginal appreciation on March 11 and the market capitalisation of the listed equities was up by 0.25 percent or N31 billion from N12.583 trillion the previous day, to N12.614 trillion. Similarly, the NSE’s All-Share Index rose by 0.25 percent or 96.64 basis points to 39,269.40 points, up from 39,172.76 points recorded on the preceding day.
The NSE-30 Index also recorded a marginal rise by 0.05 percent from 1,761.78 points the previous day to close at 1,762.68 points on March 11. However, the NSE Banking Index and the insurance index, however, lost 0.5 percent and 0.6per cent to close at 392.07 points and 143.41 points respectively. According to the result at the close of trading,18 stocks recorded price appreciation, while 27 stocks lost.
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ table, rising by 4.95 percent or 48 kobo to close at N10.18 per share. International Energy Insurance Plc also gained 4.9 percent or three kobo to close at 64 kobo per share, while Guinness Nigeria Plc and Wapic Insurance Plc gained 4.7 percent and 4.3 percent to close at N180 and 89 kobo per share respectively while UBA Capital Plc led the loser’s chart, shedding five percent or 14 kobo to close at N2.66 per share. AG Leventis Plc and Eterna Plc also lost 4.6 percent and 4.1 per cent to close at N1.43 and N3.71 per share in that order.
Change of Baton at Ecobank
ECOBANK Transnational Incorporated has announced the departure of Group Chief Executive Officer, Thierry Tanoh, with effect from March 12. By his departure, Tanoh will no longer be a director of ETI. According to the bank’s board of directors, Laurence do Rego, had been reinstated as the Group Executive Director of Finance and Risk with immediate effect. The re-instatement is in line with the directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC.
SEC investigated the lender after do Rego told the SEC in August that Tanoh and Kolapo Lawson, the former chairman planned to sell assets below market value. Do Rego said she was pressured to write off debts owed by a business headed by Lawson and manipulate the bank’s results, but Tanoh and Lawson have denied any wrongdoing. In a statement by the bank, Tanoh will be replaced by Albert Essien, currently deputy CEO/group executive director for Corporate and Investment Bank, with immediate effect. Essien has been at Ecobank for more than 20 years rising to the position of deputy group CEO two years ago.
Announcing the replacement, André Siaka, ETI interim chairman, said, “We wish to thank Thierry Tanoh for his service to Ecobank and we wish him every success in the future. We believe that Essien has the experience and knowledge that Ecobank needs to take it forward as we continue to implement our strategy which is to deliver outstanding customer service, to improve long-term shareholder value and returns and to be the employer of choice in our markets.”
Mainstreet Bank to Increase Lending to Agriculture
MAINSTREET Bank Limited has pledged to support farmers and entrepreneurs seeking opportunities in agricultural business. Kabir Usman, Head, Agricultural Desk, made the pledge at the recently concluded 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair. He commended the organisers of the fair for focusing on the theme, ‘Agricultural Transformation for Industrial Development: Public Private Partnership Approach.”
Usman said that Mainstreet Bank had, over the years, been a proud partner of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, who are the organisers of the fair. He said that the bank considered this year’s fair unique given its focus on promoting agricultural enterprise and by extension creating jobs and food security.
He said; “Mainstreet Bank through its commitment to the Federal Government Agricultural Transformation Agenda and the Growth Enhancement Support, GES, initiative has successfully mobilised fertiliser agro-dealers, farmers, suppliers and seed companies to create an effective distribution mechanism that eliminates middlemen and the attendant corruption, which existed in the input distribution chain.”
He recalled that following the recent commencement of the 2013/2014 dry season support programme by President Goodluck Jonathan, the bank was committed to growing its lending portfolio from N10 billion in 2013 to N20 billion in 2014.
Compiled by Chinwe Okafor
— Mar. 24, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT