The boards of directors of two of Nigeria’s five largest banks- Zenith Bank International Plc and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc – have approved payment of final dividends to shareholders of the banks, sustaining a tradition of paying dividends twice a year.
The boards of the banks also approved the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019, raising prospects that the results may be released within the next five weeks ahead of the regulatory deadline of March 30, this year.
The board of Zenith Bank, which met yesterday and the board of UBA, which had met a day earlier, reviewed the three-month fourth quarter results for 2019 and the 12-month full-year results for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Directors of the banks subsequently approved the results and authorized designated directors to sign the results on behalf of the board, a major requirement by financial regulatory authorities.
In separate regulatory filing at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the boards of the banks stated that the approved results would be sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for final regulatory review and approval, following which the results and dividend recommendations will be made available to the public through the NSE.
Under the listing rules at the NSE, quoted companies are required to submit their yearly audited account to the Exchange not later than 90 calendar days after the relevant year end, and published same in at least two national daily newspapers not later than 21 calendar days before the date of the annual general meeting.
They are also required to post same on their websites with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publications. Also, an electronic copy of the publication shall be filed with the Exchange on the same day as the publication.
Most quoted companies including all banks, major manufacturers, insurers, oil and gas companies, breweries and cement companies use the 12-month Gregorian calendar year as their business year. The deadline for the submission of yearly report for the year ended December 31, 2019 is thus Monday March 30, this year.
Zenith Bank had paid interim dividend of 30 kobo from earnings per share of N2.83 for first half 2019.