StanChart declares interim dividend as profit up 46pc

StanChart declares interim dividend as profit up 46pc

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya #ticker:SCBK reported a 46.6 percent net profit growth in the nine months ended September on the back of lower costs and higher non-interest income.

Its net earnings in the review period stood at Sh6.3 billion, up from Sh4.3 billion a year earlier.

StanChart declared a surprise interim dividend of Sh5 per share, signalling its confidence about the economic outlook amid lifting of most restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The directors are pleased to announce the payment of an interim dividend of Sh5 for every ordinary share,” the lender said in a statement.

“The board recognises the importance of dividends to shareholders and believes in balancing returns with transformational investments for the business, whilst at the same time preserving strong capital ratios.”

The dividend will be paid on December 29 to shareholders who will be on the register as of December 7.

The bank was among the big lenders including KCB #ticker:KCB and Absa Bank Kenya #ticker:ABSA which had suspended their tradition of paying interim dividends as the health crisis unfolded.

StanChart’s interim dividend indicates that its total payout for the year ending December could surpass 2020’s distribution of Sh10.5 per share. The bank’s non-interest income jumped 19.1 percent to Sh7.5 billion, driven by improved performances in wealth management and financial markets.

Total interest income shrunk 2.4 percent to Sh17.5 billion as the bank reduced its investment in government debt securities and left its loan book flat.

Its holding of treasuries declined 8.1 percent to Sh94 billion while loans to customers hardly moved at Sh131.7 billion.

StanChart benefitted from a five percent drop in operating expenses to Sh13.3 billion, partly aided by staff costs declining by Sh552.1 million to Sh4.8 billion.The bank has been cutting its workforce over the years amid a deeper push into digital banking services.

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