Standard Bank may hold on to R8.6bn dividend payment

Standard Bank. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Standard Bank. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Standard Bank, which is due to pay ordinary shareholders about R8.6bn in dividends this month, says it is considering a request from the Reserve Bank to hold on to its dividends due to uncertainty from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The JSE’s banking index has lost about 36% of its value so far in 2020, more than twice the decline of the JSE all share, and shareholders of SA’s banks may need to forgo about R20bn in dividends in the first six months of the year.

Standard Bank said on Tuesday that it would advise shareholders in due course.

Absa and Nedbank are also set to make dividend payments later in April.

Capitec is set to release results later in the month.

“The board fully recognises the importance of dividends to the group’s owners,” Standard Bank said.

“However, it also recognises the need to support households and businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of ensuring the stability of the group in the short, medium and long term.” 

Standard Bank is due to pay a R5.40 final dividend per share on April 24. The group has about 1.6-billion common shares in issue.

The Reserve Bank through its banking-supervision unit, the Prudential Authority (PA), advised banks on Monday to not distribute dividends and put bonuses for senior executives on hold.

Absa, which has about 850-million shares in issue, is due to pay a final dividend of R6.20 a share on April 20.

Nedbank declared a final dividend of R6.95, which is also due to be paid on April 20, and has about 500-million shares in issue.

FirstRand, with a portfolio including First National Bank (FNB), Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and WesBank, paid its interim dividend of R1.46 a share on Monday, and has about 5.6-billion shares in issue.

Capitec is scheduled to release its results to end-February in mid-April.

In its year to end-February 2019, the group declared a final dividend of R11.20, and it has about 115-million shares in issue.

In morning trade on Tuesday, Standard Bank’s share price was up 2.88% to R108.54, while the JSE’s banking index had risen 4.84%.

At the same time the JSE all share had risen 3.21%. — BusinessLIVE

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