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Investors jostle for UBA ahead of interim dividend

Investors jostle for UBA ahead of interim dividend

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has been the toast of the stock market in the past four weeks as investors sought to take positions ahead of the impending release of the audited half-year results and interim dividend of the commercial banking group.

UBA was the most active stock last week with a turnover of 332.72 million shares valued at N2.68 billion in 978 deals, representing 34 per cent and 26.15 per cent of the total turnover volume and value traded respectively at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). It has featured consistently in the past four consecutive weeks within the two most active stocks at the equities market.

UBA is expected to release its audited report and accounts for the first half ended June 30, 2018 this week. Most analysts expect the bank to sustain its tradition of interim dividend payment based on the first half report.

Under the rules at the NSE, where a company chooses to audit its quarterly accounts, it shall be required to file such accounts not later than 60 calendar days after the relevant quarter. Generally, quoted companies are required to file their unaudited quarterly accounts with the NSE not later than 30 calendar days after the relevant quarter, and publish it within five business days after the date of filing, in at least two national daily newspapers, and post it on the company’s website, with the web address disclosed in the newspaper publication. Also, an electronic copy of the publication shall be filed with the Exchange on the same day as the newspaper publication.

A source at the UBA said the commercial banking group will submit its report within the August 29, 2018 deadline for audited half-year results for the period ending June 30, 2018.

UBA had paid a total dividend per share of 85 kobo for the 2017 business year, consisting of a final dividend per share of 65 kobo in addition to interim dividend of 20 kobo earlier paid after the first-half results. The total payout for 2017 represented a 13 per cent growth on a dividend per share of 75 kobo paid for the 2016 financial year.

UBA  had started the 2018 business year on a strong footing as the commercial banking group witnessed considerable growths in the top-line and bottom-line. Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of UBA for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 showed that gross earnings rose by 18 per cent to N119.4 billion in first quarter 2018 compared with N101.25 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2017.

Profit before tax rose to N26.6 billion in first quarter 2018 as against N25.5 billion posted in first quarter 2017. Profit after tax stood at N23.7 billion in first quarter 2018 compared with N22.4 billion recorded in corresponding period of 2017. The group sustained its strong profitability with an annualized 18 per cent Return on Average Equity (RoAE).

Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the bank would sustain its impressive performance in the first quarter through the year.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances, we look forward to sustaining this strong performance through the year, with the primary objective of delivering superior return to our shareholders,” Uzoka said.

According to him, the first quarter result is a good start to the year and a reflection of the bank’s capacity to sustainably grow earnings over the medium to long term.

“We are committed to exceeding our 2018 deposit growth target in the year, with strategic focus on retail, low cost savings and current accounts, which is critical to sustaining our net interest margin uptrend,” Uzoka said.

He pointed out the increasing relevance of the group’s African operations to its bottom line, adding that the bank is increasingly becoming systemically important across the 19 other African countries, where it operates.

Group Chief Financial Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Ugo Nwaghodoh, had also assured that the management of the baking group is committed to delivering on the group’s financial goals for the year.

“We are diligently executing our priorities for the year, as we focus on profitable growth. We are making strong progress in Nigeria, where our continuous market share gain is translating into higher profit. I am pleased that our drive towards optimal scale across our subsidiary operations is progressing well. More importantly, the contribution of these foreign operations to the group’s profit is impressively reflective of geographic diversification,” Nwaghodoh said.

The post Investors jostle for UBA ahead of interim dividend appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

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