Bank ABC shareholders have approved cash dividends amounting to $70 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, which is 30 per cent of net profits, and additional tier 1 capital issuance of up to $400m.

The announcement follows annual ordinary and extraordinary meetings hosted virtually yesterday by group chairman Saddek El Kaber and group chief executive Sael Al Waary.

During the meetings, shareholders approved the bank’s consolidated financial statements for 2023. The bank’s impressive financial results included a number of records in the group’s history, with revenue at its highest ever level of approximately $1.3 billion and assets reaching a record high of almost $44bn.

Alongside this, net profits showed an exceptional 53pc year-on-year (YOY) growth reaching $235m and return on equity (RoE) improving by 2pc YOY to 5.8pc.

This excellent performance was driven by strong business growth across core markets, a solid capital funding base, tailwinds from rising interest rates, and the successful delivery of its strategic objectives aimed at building ‘Mena’s International Bank of the Future’.

The board’s recommendation for the appropriation of profits for 2023, was approved by shareholders as follows: Cash payment of a 2.25pc dividend of 2.25 cents for each outstanding share (net of treasury shares) for approximately $70m, a 50pc YOY increase (2022 dividend of 1.5 cents per share).

Transfer of $23.5m to the legal reserve and the remaining balance of approximately $142.3m to the retained earnings was also approved.

Additionally, shareholders approved the board’s recommendation for a prospective AT1 issuance of up to $400m, which will further support the group’s accelerated earnings and growth strategy while maintaining the emphasis on balance sheet strength with robust capital ratios.

Mr El Kaber remarked: “2023 marked a year of exceptional growth for the bank, as it continues to move towards the future with agility and ambition while navigating market challenges.

“The strength of our financial performance affirms that the group’s strategy is delivering on its intent to create greater value for our shareholders, illustrated by the 50pc increase in dividends amounting to $70m. Supported by disciplined governance, the group is well positioned to continue a trajectory of fast-paced profit growth, while maintaining its strong balance sheet.”

Mr Al Waary added: “We are grateful to our shareholders for their confidence in the bank’s strategy and capabilities and to our board of directors for their continued support and guidance. We must also thank our Bank ABC staff worldwide for spearheading the execution our new strategy.

“The bank’s exceptional performance, amid challenging geopolitical and economic conditions, is testament to the resilience of our global operations and our commitment to deliver on our aspirations for accelerated earnings growth and increasing returns to our shareholders in 2024 and beyond.”

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