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Jim Ovia is king as Nigeria’s top bank chiefs earn N2.3bn in interim dividend

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Jim Ovia

Top Nigerian bank executives will earn a total of N2.3 billion in interim dividend for the half-year ended June 30.

Despite the impact of the pandemic and regulatory squeeze which has seen the earnings of banks come under pressure, tier-1 banks in the country have continued to build a robust buffer since the last cyclical downturn.

This has put them in a better position to absorb asset quality shocks and sustain the age-long tradition of dividend payment to shareholders.

Leading the pack is Jim Ovia, chairman of Zenith Bank, who will earn N1.52 billion in interim dividend as the largest shareholder in Nigeria’s most profitable bank as at June 30.

This follows the final approval of interim dividend in N9.4 billion at N0.30 per share

Ovia holds total outstanding shares of 5.07 billion as at June 30 — 3.54 billion units directly and 1.52 billion units indirectly for institutional investors Ltd, Lurot Burca Ltd, Jovis Nigeria Ltd, Veritas Registrars Ltd, and Quantum Zenith Securities Ltd.

Herbert Wigwe,  Access Bank’s CEO, will earn N379 million in interim dividend following the final approval of 25 kobo interim dividend to the shareholders of the bank whose names appear in the register of members as at close of business September 17, 2020.

Wigwe has total outstanding shares of 1.517 billion units with 201,231,713 held directly, while 1,316,619,015 are held indirectly.

A breakdown of the indirect holding shows United Alliance Company of Nig. Ltd has 537,734,218; Trust and Capital Limited 584,056,979; and Coronation Trustees Tengen Mauritius 194,827,818

The chairman United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc, Tony Elumelu, is also set to earn N391 million in interim dividend as the largest shareholder.

The interim dividend of N0.17 has been approved for every ordinary share of 50 kobo and the release of the bank’s 2020 half-year result for the period ended June 30.

Elumelu holds a total outstanding share of 2.30 billion (both direct and indirect) as at June 30 2020.

He has a total of 189.85 million units of shares in direct holding as at June 30, with 2.14 billion units of shares as indirect.

A further breakdown of his indirect holdings shows HH Capital Limited has 140.84 million units of shares; Heirs Holdings, where he is the chairman has 1.74 billion units of shares; Heirs Alliance Limited with 231.08 million units of shares.

“Subject to applicable withholding tax, the (interim dividend) will be paid to shareholders whose names appear in the register of members as at the close of business on Tuesday, September 15, 2020,” the bank said in a statement.

Segun Agbaje, managing director Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), will earn N12.48 million in interim dividend with the final approval of 30 kobo interim dividend to shareholders whose names appear in the register of members as at September 15.

Agbaje has total outstanding shares of 41.62 million units, with 32,146,651 held directly while 9,481,350 held indirectly.

Payment of interim divided is subject to the deduction of appropriate withholding tax.

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