MANAMA: National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) yesterday approved the distribution of a dividend of 35 per cent, comprising a 25pc cash and a 10pc stock dividend in the form of bonus shares.
The dividend will be distributed from March 29 to eligible shareholders.
This was announced at the conclusion of the bank’s annual ordinary and extraordinary general meeting, chaired by chairman Farouk Almoayyed, and attended by the majority of directors, shareholders, executive management, members of the media, delegates from the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry, Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Bourse, the bank’s external auditors KPMG Fakhro, and the bank’s share registrar Karvy.
Shareholder approval was also granted on the bank’s financial statements for 2019, another year of strong profitability and growth in which NBB increased its net profit by 6pc to BD74.2 million compared with BD70m in 2018.
An increase in the bank’s issued and paid-up capital from BD154,775,975 to BD170,253,573.200, subject to Central Bank of Bahrain approval, was also approved by shareholders.
In reflection of a strong balance sheet and stable cash flows, the transfer of approximately BD3.71m, equivalent to 5pc of the bank’s profits, was passed by the assembly for NBB’s donations and contributions programme, which NBB considers a priority and its national duty to get closer to the community and support its needs.
Mr Almoayyed said, “NBB remains committed to delivering consistent returns for its shareholders, and I am once again proud to have achieved record profitability in 2019 as we ended the year with a 6pc increase in net profits. NBB continuously strives to enhance its performance as a key driver and contributor to the kingdom’s economic growth, by analysing the market opportunities and leveraging on our industry acumen to balance our business portfolios and diversify our revenue streams. We are determined to continue on our ambitious growth journey and build on this year’s strong performance to sustain-long term success for NBB, and deliver value to our shareholders.”
In 2019, NBB implemented the environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, which has been added to the bank’s annual report, and positions the bank as a local benchmark in best practice. The ESG, which is deemed of high importance for shareholders, reported a 15pc increase in female employment compared with 2018, zero data security breaches, more than BD3.7m in community investment and an 18pc reduction in electricity consumption per employee, demonstrating the bank’s focus on operating responsibly in line with its corporate mission of enriching the lives of generations.
Chief executive Jean-Christophe Durand added, “The year 2019 was a year of significant accomplishments across the board, and we are especially proud of the ESG report which showcases our desire to integrate sustainability into our corporate strategy and business practices, further underscoring our commitment to the betterment of our community.
“We strive to conduct business in a responsible manner and have ensured that our approach to sustainability is aligned to the UN SDGs and Bahrain’s Vision 2030. On a business front, we are pushing ahead with our growth plans. Following our acquisition of a majority stake in Bahrain Islamic Bank earlier this year, our key areas of focus for 2020 and beyond will definitely be exploiting our new Islamic banking capabilities to penetrate new market segments. We will also focus on strengthening our regional footprint through our existing branches and new geographies. Our strategy is tangible, and aligns to market and industry trends, with diversified routes to ensure NBB continues to boost its business and remain profitable, to guarantee consistent shareholder returns.”
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