The Botswana Stock Exchange listed bank, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana said Friday that it will pay out outstanding dividends to ordinary shareholders.
In a co-signed statement, Chief Executive, Moatlhodi Lekaukau and board chairman Bojosi Otlhogile said a final dividend of 30.17 (gross) per ordinary share has been declared for the period ended 31 December 2014.
“This dividend will be payable on or about the 4th of July 2016,” a communiqu├® sent to capital markets by the bank on Friday partly read.
Head of Corporate Affairs, Itumeleng Ramsden further told Sunday Standard that the dividend payout was deferred in 2014 as indicated in the bank’s 2014 annual report. “As disclosed in 2014 Annual Report, the final dividend was deffered and is now being declared. We also indicated in 2015 that the deffered dividend will be paid this year.”
Standard Chartered Bank’s financial results, just like those of the other three top banks have over the years been impacted by the challenging trading environment. The banking sector’s general performance has been characterised by subdued macro-economic conditions, low interest rates and a significant decline in market liquidity.
When reporting its latest financial results in March, the BSE quoted bank showed that its operating income went down 18 percent from 2014 reflecting challenging market conditions. The drop has however also been attributed to strategic management decisions of the bank which seeks to strengthen the balance sheet at the expense of short term performance.
The bank’s profit before tax stood at P338 million (83 percent) lower than prior year due to a decline in revenues and the impact of a provision taken for a significant single corporate client this year. On the other hand, the bank’s Net Interest Income (NII) also went down by P124 million (21 percent) driven by the central bank rate cuts and the increase in interest expense paid on deposits, following liquidity pressure. The group’s costs are up by P41million (6 percent) higher than prior year, largely due to higher technology and management support costs.
Meanwhile the bank said recently that it is considering a significant investment on digital platforms to enhance client experience as well as convenience banking. “Soon we will be refreshing our ATM machines by introducing more touch screen ATM’s and Cash deposit machines,” said SCBB Head of Retail Clients Pedzani Tafa at the result presentation in March.
Tafa believes that as a commercial bank, they are able to facilitate trade, investment and wealth creation in all different regions for and on behalf of their customers. She said that SCBB is committed to helping Batswana businesses achieve their ambitions in the right way.
“In 2015 the bank introduced chip-based debit cards to protect our clients from debit card fraud and we launched offshore fixed income proposition,” Tafa stated adding that: “The bank will provide superior cash management solutions through our digital platform straight2Bank”.
At the same time, Tafa said that the bank intends to improve the wealth management capabilities by launching general Insurance, improved life insurance products for individuals and businesses and also introduce local currency bonds.