Co-operative Bank of Kenya has paid its Sh8.8 billion dividends earlier than the set date of June 9, boosting liquidity of its shareholders including saccos, individuals and other institutions.
The bank made the surprise distribution on Friday last week.
Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firms typically pay dividends on the scheduled date or a few days later, depending on the efficiencies of the share registrars and the means by which an investor elects to be paid.
Co-op Bank joins other publicly traded banks that paid their dividends in the past few days, marking out May and June as the months with the highest concentration of dividend payouts.
Other firms that have recently paid shareholders include NCBA Group, Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya, Absa Bank Kenya and KCB Group.
Co-op Bank increased its dividend payout by 50 percent to Sh1.5 per share for the year ended December 2022. The enhanced dividend was paid to shareholders who were on record as of May 24, 2022.
They included saccos which own a 64.56 percent stake in the bank through their investment vehicle Co-op Holdings Co-operative Society Limited.
The saccos’ investment vehicle received Sh5.6 billion in the payout which came after the bank reported a 33 percent net profit growth to Sh22 billion in the year ended December 2022, helped by a surge in interest and non-interest income.
In the first quarter ended March, the bank reported a 4.7 percent net profit growth, benefitting from higher interest income from loans.
Its net earnings rose to Sh6.1 billion in the review period, up from Sh5.8 billion the year before.
The lender said the performance, which saw its return on shareholder funds stand at 22.2 percent, fits with its sustainable growth plan.
The firm’s total interest income rose 11.2 percent to Sh15.5 billion, reflecting the impact of the loan book expanding by Sh35.6 billion to Sh360.1 billion.
Co-op Bank reduced its investment in government debt securities by Sh4.1 billion to Sh179.2 billion.
Other lenders which have announced their first quarter results such as Equity Group have also cut their holdings of treasuries in a shift to lending more to households and the private sector.