Standard Bank Kenya Unit Sees Pre-Pandemic Dividend by Year-End
(Bloomberg) -- Standard Bank Group Ltd’s Kenyan unit expects to increase its dividend payouts to the pre-pandemic level on full year results as vaccinations pick up and the economy recovers, said Chief Finance Officer, Abraham Ongenge.
“I’m quite confident that we should resume dividend payment to pre-pandemic levels,” Ongenge said in an interview in the capital, Nairobi. “We say this with the caution Covid has taught us that waves can come and become serious.”
Stanbic Holdings Plc. on Thursday posted a 37% rise in first-half profit to 3.5 billion shillings ($32 million). Improved profitability and a drop in the non-performing loan ratio to 9.87, compared with 10.19 the previous period enabled the bank to pay an interim dividend of 1.70 shillings.
“Based on this we’d expect almost a similar payout toward the end of the year,” Chief Executive Officer, Charles Mudiwa told reporters. It froze the payouts last year due to the coronavirus.
The Nairobi-based lender also targets to sustain a single digit non-performing loan ratio by the end of the year, and grow its loan book by high single-digit levels, according to Ongenge.
Commercial banks have been unable to price risk for loan-products without the central bank’s approval. Stanbic has been able to get several of its products approved, Ongenge said, amid ongoing talks on this issue.
“We continue to have the conversation with the central bank so that it allows us not to be going back to the central bank for every single product approval,” Ongenge said. “Once we get that kind of signed off it kind of eases our ability to roll out various solutions for our customers.”
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