Diamond Bank Plc has announced an after-tax profit of N3.9 billion in the year ended April 30, 2006. It is an improvement upon the N2.5 billion recorded in 2005.
By the results, the bank\'s gross earnings grew by 42.8 per cent to N22.7 billion from N15.9 billion earned in 2005.
Similarly, its total assets closed at N227.8 billion as against N130.7 billion in 2005, while its shareholders\' funds now stands at N35 billion from N20.7 billion in 2005.
Shareholders of Diamond Bank Plc approved the motion to write off the goodwill from the bank\'s share premium of N6 billion arising from the acquisition of former Lion Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The share premium will be utilised for the writing-off of the goodwill of N4.2 billion created by the acquisition, subject to the sanction of the Federal High Court and the approval of the regulatory authorities.
This, according to the management, will enable the bank pay dividends at a future date.
On the acquisition of African International Bank (AIB), the Diamond Bank Chairman, Pascal Dozie, said that the bank was facing some challenges as there is a suit currently before the Federal High Court and as such the bank could not do anything about depositors\' funds.
He assured the shareholders that dividends would be paid in the near future.
Meanwhile, the quality of the management of Fidelity Bank Plc has been described as one of strongest points going for the institution.
The Rev. Olu Odejimi, doyen of the Nigerian Stock Exchange said at a forum for stockbrokers in Lagos recently that the management of an institution should be the first index to assess in deciding what stock to invest in.
He said that he had related with the top management of the bank, followed their careers over the years and was therefore, convinced of their capacity to run any institution professionally and profitably.
According to him, Fidelity bank\'s stocks at their current price are under-priced but will soon shoot up.
Over the last two weeks, Fidelity share price has gone up by up to 40per cent following market feelers about the bank\'s year-end performance and prospects of good dividend payouts in the next few weeks.