Listed banks pay out 49pc of NSE dividends

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on the trading floor of the Exchange Building in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Listed banks accounted for nearly half of all dividends paid out by Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) firms, an analysis of data from the bourse shows.

The lenders’ latest dividend per share covering the year ended December 2023 tallied to Sh66.4 billion, a 48.9 percent share of the cumulative Sh135.6 billion pay-outs from all counters.

The high absolute payout by the banking sector has anchored investor interests for the counter informing the notable share price gains seen this year.

As of Wednesday this week, listed banks' share prices had jumped by an average of 17.4 percent on a year-to-date basis with Equity Group soaring by 32.3 percent to trade at Sh44.55 a piece.

Incidentally, Equity Group paid out the highest dividend to shareholders on absolute terms at Sh15 billion which rounds off to a dividend per share of Sh4 on its more than 3.7 billion issued shares.

Other top banking sectors paying counters were StanChart at Sh10.9 billion or a dividend per share of Sh29, Co-op Bank and Absa Bank Kenya whose combined payouts stood at Sh8.8 billion and Sh8.4 billion respectively.

NCBA Group meanwhile has a dividend per share totalling Sh7.8 billion for the year ended December 2023 placing it ahead of Stanbic Holdings Plc, I&M Holdings, BK Group, and DTB whose dividends rounded off to Sh6 billion, Sh4.2 billion, Sh3.3 billion and Sh1.6 billion respectively.

The Housing Finance Group and KCB were the only non-dividend paying counters in banking with the latter attributing its rare dividend skip to the need to preserve its capital adequacy buffers going into 2024 amid elevated expenses including high loan provisioning costs.

Non-banking counters paid the remainder of Sh69.2 billion in dividends with the bulk of the distribution coming from Safaricom at Sh48 billion or a Sh1.20 dividend per share from its operations to March 2023.

Other non-bank dividend-paying counters in the year were growers; Kakuzi, Kapchorua, Limuru Tea, Sasini and Williamson.

The list further includes Car and General, Nation Media, Bamburi Cement, Crown Paints, KenGen, Total, Umeme, CIC, Jubilee, Kenya Re, Centum and the NSE.

BOC Kenya, BAT, Carbacid and EABL also paid dividends to shareholders in the last 12 months.

Total dividends by non-banking counters could be set for a further rise over the short term with firms like Safaricom and Jubilee being expected to report a new set of financial statements.

Nearly half of the NSE counters or 30 firms did not pay dividends to shareholders in the past year.

This includes suspended counters such as Deacons, Kenya Airways and ARM Cement.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.