Co-operative Bank Group yesterday ratified a dividend of Sh1 per share for a total of Sh5.9 billion during it’s 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Capital Markets Authority (CMA) guided that year 2019 dividend amounting to a Sh5.9 billion which was paid out in April.
The amount boosted liquidity to shareholders to mitigate against the economic ravages of the pandemic.
“The bank has maintained a solid dividend track record on the back of sustained profitability over the years,” said Group Managing director and chief executive Gideon Muriuki.
Co-op Holdings Co-operative Society, which holds a 64.5 per cent strategic shareholding, banked Sh3.79 billion from the dividends in a move that further cushions the 15-million-member Co-operative Movement from Covid-19 shocks.
Dr Muriuki said 2019 performance was remarkable with the Bank reporting a 14 per cent surge in profit before tax to hit Sh20.7 billion from the Sh18.2 billion in 2018.
During the virtual AGM, members appreciated the stability amid the historic challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, which wrought unprecedented disruption globally.
The need for proactive enterprise risk management initiatives was raised for the sake of uninterrupted business operations.
“In total, Sh39.2 billion in loans have been restructured as at the close of June this year, to support customers on the Covid-19 pandemic,” Muriuki said.
Commercial banks had restructured borrower loans in line with a directive of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to cushion customers against the pandemic.
Combined, the restructured loans had hit Sh1.12 trillion by the end of August according to latest CBK data, representing 38 per cent of the total banking sector loan book estimated at Sh2.9 trillion.
During the Co-op Bank meeting ratified the re-election of Wilfred Ongoro, Lawrence Karissa and Margaret Karangatha to the Board for another term of three years, and also ratified the election of Mrs. Weda Welton as a director of the Company.
The acquisition of 90 per cent stake in Jamii Bora Bank, which is now trading as Kingdom Bank, was also ratified during the event.
This year, the Co-op was named ‘best bank in Kenya’ at this year’s African Banking Awards 2020 for sound leadership, increased profitability and delivering affordable credit to the retail and wholesale markets.
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