Accra, March 25, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) on Thursday declared 6,037.15 cedis as final dividend to shareholders amidst strong indications of greater performance on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The final dividend brings the total dividend paid out by the Bank to 8,765 cedis per share for 2003, putting the total dividend paid at 154 billion cedis. 48 billion cedis of the amount have already been paid. SCB share on the Accra Bourse is currently selling at 70,001 cedis. Mr Ebenezer N. Essoka, Chief Executive of SCB, Ghana, told shareholders at the Bank's Annual General Meeting that earnings per share went up 35 per cent to 10,017 cedis from the 7,435 cedis posted in 2002.
Profit before tax rose by 38 per cent to 297 billion cedis compared to the 215 billion cedis posted in 2002. Profit after tax rose slightly to 176,259 billion cedis as compared to the 2002 figure of 130,822 billion cedis.
The Bank made net revenue of 555,985 billion cedis in 2003. Mr Essoka said the Bank would continue to focus on commercial banking as well as wholesale banking.
He said, "in 2003 we strengthened our competitive position through improved competitiveness of our value propositions in both wholesale and consumer banking business, rationalization of our distribution platforms...".
He said the Bank had delivered on its promise of being pro-competitive, more customers friendly and more socially responsible. He noted that the Bank structured its loan portfolio to generate returns commensurate with level of inherent financial and commercial risk and capital.
Mr Essoka said in 2004, the Bank planned to build on revenue momentum, improve on its cost efficiencies and ensure risk containment as well as reinforce 'The Right Partner' brand promise.
He said with the "B+' Rating by Standard and Poors and "B" Rating by Fitch, Ghana was enjoying an upswing and encouraged economic operators to capitalize on this and increase their investment.
"We have a well managed Company and a good future outlook," Mr Essoka said.
The AGM approved the creation of a new class of irredeemable, non-cumulative Preference Shares to be offered to existing shareholders totalling the Cedi equivalent of 15 million dollars, out of which a cedi equivalent of 10 million dollars would be issued this year.