Accra, March 17, GNA - The Board of Directors of CAL Bank, on Friday announced a dividend of 55 cedis per share for shareholders, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. The dividend which would be paid to shareholders on April 27, 2006, represents a payout ratio of 32 per cent of the profit after tax for 2005, which stood at 26.7 billion cedis.
Mr George Victor Okoh, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said at the Annual General Meeting that this was in line with the Bank's promise to maintain a dividend pay out ratio of up to 33 per cent per annum. He said the profit before tax of the Bank was 44.6 billion cedis, representing a two per cent decrease compared to the 2004 results of 45.6 billion cedis adding that shareholders funds increased by 10 per cent from 165.9 billion cedis to 183.4 billion cedis. Mr Okoh said the stock market encountered extreme tendencies during the year under review adding that CAL's share price declined to the Initial Public Offer price of 2000 cedis as at 31st December 2005. He said an assessment of the situation clearly indicated that the trend had nothing to do with the Bank's performance.
Mr Frank Brako Adu Jnr, Managing Director of the Bank, said the growth in the asset base was basically due to growth in customer deposits of 17 per cent from 535 billion cedis in 2004 to 624 billion cedis at the end of 2005. He said there was also an increase in the Bank's borrowing from 73 billion cedis in 2004 to 116 billion cedis at the end of 2005, which was required to fund its asset portfolio, in line with the strategic plan.
Mr Adu noted that between June and November 2005, the demand for CAL Bank shares dropped from 3,200 cedis to 2000 cedis but said that was not peculiar to the Bank's shares alone but a reflection of decreased demand for equities on the GSE as a whole. Touching on the branch roll out of the Bank, he said it planned to establish 12 new branches by the end of 2007 adding that it had completed and commenced operations in the Tema Industrial and Harbour areas, with new branches coming up in areas including Accra, Takoradi, Tarkwa and Kumasi. He said though the year under review was challenging, the fundamentals put in place were adequate to grow the asset base of the Bank for enhanced profitability. An amendment was made to Regulation 64 of the Bank to enable the shareholders to transact business at any General Meeting with a quorum of three persons or by their proxy or one shareholder representing more than 50 per centum of the total voting rights. Mr James Chamberlain Brenner, CEO of Broad Cove Partners was nominated to fill the vacancy created in the number of directors following the death of Nana Awuah Darko Ampem, a founding member of the Bank.