Standard Chartered Bank Ghana has declared a dividend of GHÂ¢1.04 per share, amounting to GHÂ¢140.14 million for the 2018 fiscal year.
The amount, which is payable by June 28, this year, to all shareholders who are registered with the bank, represents a 20 per cent of the bankâ€™s total revenue.
The payment of the dividend was attributed to the growth in the bankâ€™s basic earnings per share which grew from GHÂ¢1.54 in 2017 to GHÂ¢2.09 in 2018.
The Chairman of the Board of Stanchart Ghana, Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah, speaking at its annual general meeting on June 6, said the decision of the board to pay dividend to its shareholders was part of its commitment to improve the value to shareholders.
Dr Kumah, who was recently appointed as the Board Chairman of the bank, said his commitment was to focus on four key areas which are; putting clients at the centre of the bankâ€™s activities, building a resilient franchise to deliver long-term sustainable value to shareholders; enriching relationships with all major stakeholders; and ensuring excellent governance and high ethical standards.
â€œOur focus is to continue to harness the bankâ€™s capability to deliver value to our shareholders and clients in line with our overarching purpose,â€ he stated.
He said the 2018 performance of the bank was delivered against a relatively challenging macroeconomic environment, increasingly fierce competitive landscape and a tighter regulatory environment.
He noted that the financial performance, albeit lower than expected, reflected a good progress against its strategic priorities.
â€œThe results also demonstrate good business efficiency, a robust balance sheet, strong liquidity and a healthy capital adequacy ratio,â€
â€Our foundations are secure and we have introduced significant innovations in digital platforms to help deliver better client experience and drive growth across key businesses while driving better collaboration among our staff,â€ he stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, Ms Mansa Nettey, for her part, said 2018 marked a watershed period for the banking sector, as the challenges resulting from the central bankâ€™s asset quality review in 2017 protracted into 2018.
She said subsequent regulatory pressures and requirements by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) severely impacted the banking sector in 2018.
Ms Nettey, however, noted that the stringent actions taken by the BoG were expected to deliver a more robust and stronger sector to support the countryâ€™s economic development in the long run.
She said the bank started 2018 strongly with its performance indicators trending positively, but was later hit by the challenges in the banking sector in the second half of the year, which affected the growth of the bank.
Going forward, she said the focus of the bank would be to concentrate on delivering its strategy through disciplined execution and driving operational efficiency.
â€œDespite our growth being slower than expected and impacting our short-term profits, we have put in place actions to put the business back on an upward trajectory,â€ she stated.
The Financial Officer of the bank, Mr Kweku Nimfah-Essuman, shedding light on the bankâ€™s financial performance, said the bank recorded a moderate growth in operating income which grew by five per cent year on year to GH?712.9 million.
He said the bankâ€™s profit before tax of GH?325.8 million for 2018 represented a decline of 23 per cent from the previous year.
He said the decline in profit was mainly due to an increase in its impairment charges, which rose to GH?91.2 million.
Operating expenses also increased by 17 per cent from GH?244.9 million in 2017 to GH?286.3 million in 2018. Mr Nimfah-Essuman said this was due to some accelerated investments to improve the business.