Kenya: Stanchart Sh5 Billion Bonus Shares Begin Trading on the NSE

Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya Tuesday issued an additional 34.3 million ordinary shares worth Sh5.3 billion on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), satisfying its bonus stock programme.

The lender had announced the bonus share plan to reward shareholders after halving its final dividend for the year ended December 2019 to Sh7.5 per share from the earlier declaration of Sh15 per share.

It had paid an interim dividend of Sh5 per share on October 24, 2019.

StanChart said the slashing of the final dividend, which lowered the total pay-out to Sh12.5 per share from Sh20 per share, was done to preserve capital and prepare for uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said it had restructured loans worth more than Sh22 billion as customers whose incomes have been hurt by the coronavirus disruption applied for financial relief.

Cash returns

StanChart initiated the bonus share plan to make up for the dividend cut (which has seen it save Sh2.5 billion), offering shareholders an opportunity to boost their cash returns by selling the additional stock on the Nairobi bourse.

Stock brokers Tuesday updated client accounts to reflect the bonus share which was implemented at a rate of one for every 10 shares held, according to NSE's market data.

The bonus shares have no impact on investors' stakes. They are, however, expected to increase the stock's liquidity besides a potential price reset.

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