By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos – Some shareholders of Zenith International Bank on Wednesday commended the bank for improved performance in its las financial year ended Dec. 31, 2016
The shareholders gave the commendations at the annual general meeting of the bank held in Lagos on Wednesday.
Mr Sunny Nwosu, the founder of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the bank for the improved performance and final dividend of N1.77 per share in spite of unfriendly operating environment.
Nwosu said that the bank needed to map out strategies aimed at bringing operating expenses to reduce operating cost.
He said that the management must put machineries in place to ensure all loans were recovered.
Mr Nona Awo, a shareholder, said that the bank needed to drive down its unclaimed dividend figure of N3 billion as at Dec. 31, 2016.
Awo said that the bank should increase deposit drive by extending tentacles across the country, especially to unbanked areas.
Mr Peter Amangbo, the bank’s Group Managing Director, said that the bank was working closely with registrars to bring down the unclaimed dividend figure.
Amangbo assured the shareholders that the bank would continue to work hard to grow deposit base.
He stated that the company’s focus was on ways to satisfy its esteemed customers with efficient and effective service delivery mechanism.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank declared a profit after tax of N129.65 billion for the financial year against the N105.66 billion posted in the preceding period of 2015.
The profit represented an increase of 22.7 per cent when compared to figures for 2015.
Its profit before tax stood at N156.75 against the N125.63 billion declared in the preceding period of 2015.
The bank’ gross earnings grew by 17.4 per cent to N507. 99 billion compared to N432.54 billion recorded in 2015.
Its non-interest income increased by 45.9 per cent to N25.59 billion due to an 809 per cent increase in foreign exchange revaluation gains of N25.6 billion.
This, however, declined by 10 per cent from the N8.2 billion reported in nine months of 2016.
The impairment loss on financial assets rose significantly by 106.4 per cent to N32.35 billion in 2016 and 34.6 per cent based on quarter-on-quarter to N10.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.
NAN reports that the board of directors declared a final dividend of N1.77 per share to all its investors against a final dividend of N1.55 per share paid in 2015 and interim dividend of 25k.
The bank had earlier in 2016, paid the sum of 25k as interim dividend, bringing the total dividend in 2016 to N2.02 per share against N1.80 per share declared in 2015.