Shareholders of Access Bank Plc on Tuesday asked the bank‘s board of directors to consider paying interim dividend before declaring final dividend at the end of the year like their counterparts in the industry.
A shareholder, Mr Sunday Adebayo, made the call during the bank‘s Annual General Meeting in Lagos.
He said such dividend payout would enable the bank‘s investors to enjoy their investment more by getting something to spend before the end of the year.
Some investors urged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido, to be wary of statements that could further cripple the Nigerian banking system.
They said it was unbecoming for the CBN governor to make statements that could further cripple not only the banking sector but also affect the capital market negatively.
They also urged the governor to endeavour to discuss new policies with the stakeholders in private rather than putting it to the public through the media.
The President, Independent Shareholders Association Of Nigeria, Mr. Sunny Nwosu, noted that the much publicised interview of the CBN governor by the Financial Times of London, had started impacting negatively on the Nigerian capital market.
Meanwhile, shareholders of Access Bank continued to commend the performance of the bank which paid a dividend of 70 kobo as against 65 kobo, which it paid the previous year.
The bank had grown its gross earnings by 81 per cent during its last financial year which ended March 31 2009. Gross earnings rose from N57.62bn in 2008 to N104.49bn in 2009. Its profit after tax stood at N22.88bn during its 2009 financial year. This represents a 43 per cent increase over its 2008 PAT of N16.05bn.
While reacting to investors‘ questions at the AGM, the group managing director/ chief executive of the bank Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said the bank had always being at the forefront of international best practices, as it relates to the principle of financial management and efficient operation which is presently impacting positively on the returns of the bank and investment of shareholders.
Noting that Access Bank was the second bank in the country to subscribe to the auditing of accounts by Internal Federal Revenue Services, he said the bank unlike others in the industry is not adversely affected by the new CBN lending rate regime owing to its low cost earning ratio policy.