Standard Chartered Bank Kenya #ticker:SCBK has raised its dividend by 5.26 percent after reporting a marginal growth in net profit for the year ended December 2019.
The tier-one lender on Thursday announced a final dividend of Sh15 per share, bringing the total payout to Sh20, up from Sh19 in 2019 and Sh17 the year before.
Profit after tax amounted to nearly Sh8.24 billion during the period, a marginal 1.70 percent rise over Sh8.1 billion in 2018 helped by reduced interest expenses and provisions against bad debt.
Interest expenses dropped 22.40 percent to Sh5.8 billion, while loan loss provisions dipped 70.33 percent to Sh573 million.
The lender’s share on the Nairobi bourse rose Sh193.50 at the close of trading Thursday, up from Sh183.
“Our actions over the past few years to support our clients to improve the risk profile of the balance sheet and continued focus on high quality origination continue to pay off,” StanChart said in a statement.
The growth in profitability amid flat interest and non-interest income was below market expectations, with analysts at Genghis Capital saying the performance was below their projection of 4.5 percent while those at AIB Capital had projected a six percent rise.
The bank, Kenya’s six largest by market share as of 2018, said growth in net interest income plateaued at 0.39 percent to Sh19.47 billion helped by cheaper deposits on the back of lower returns on loans and government securities.
“We have achieved important milestones on our strategic priorities in 2019. Our investments to transform the bank digitally, develop and scale new business models, and build skills of strategic value to our clients continue apace,” chief executive Kariuki Ngari said.
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