Uganda: Appetite for Dividends Drives Investors to Stanbic, Bank of Baroda Counters

Stanbic Holdings Uganda Ltd and Bank of Baroda Uganda posted fairly impressive trading patterns at the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) between October and December 2020. This, according to market observers, is attributed to expectations of strong financial results for 2020 and payment of delayed 2019 dividends.

The high expectations for a good performance for 2020 are partly driven by latest Bank of Uganda industry assessments.

BoU data shows that total customer deposits held by commercial banks grew by 20.2 percent to Ush25.96 trillion ($7.09 billion) by end of September 2020 compared with September 2019, a trend supported by increased savings made by customers seeking to cut expenses and save during the pandemic.

Total loans and advances rose by 13.5 percent to Ush15.7 trillion ($4.2 billion) during the same period under review. Overall net profit after tax posted by commercial banks increased by 6.9 percent to Ush874.3 billion ($238.8 million) at the end of September 2020. While Stanbic Holdings Uganda Ltd, the parent company for Stanbic Bank Uganda has registered considerable trading volumes since October despite a stable share price of between Ush23 ($0.006) and Ush24 ($0.007) on its counter, Bank of Baroda saw its share price hold steady at Ush120 ($0.03) for much of the last quarter of 2020 though it dropped to Ush110 ($0.030) at the beginning of December. Stock market trading reports show Stanbic Holdings traded 102,329,500 shares on November 6, 2020 while its share price closed at Ush23.98 ($0.006), a record trading of 2020. Total USE turnover for the same day stood at Ush2.4 billion ($655,666) while overall trading volumes were 102,437,000 shares. On October 16, 2020, Stanbic Holdings registered trading volumes of 131,330 shares out of 214,800 shares traded during the day. Its share price closed at Ush24 ($0.007) on the same day according to equity trading reports.

A fresh announcement made by Stanbic Holdings management last week that confirmed future payment of 2019 dividends is likely to boost trading volumes and turnover further in the early weeks of 2021.

"Stanbic Uganda Holdings Ltd informs its shareholders that it will pay the final dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 following receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals. The Board on December 29, 2020 resolved to approve the 2019 final dividend payout of Ush110 billion ($30 million), which is Ush2.15 ($0.0006) per share. The dividend will be paid by April 2, 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on January 21, 2021... " reads the shareholder notice signed by Andrew Mashanda, chief executive.

In comparison, Bank of Baroda is projected to yield a net profit of Ush80 billion ($21.9 million) for December 2020, a record high in the bank's 68-year history in Uganda.

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