Nigerian billionaire financier and founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, will receive N736.5 million as interim dividend for the first half of this year as the board of directors of Zenith Bank announced that it has approved distribution of N7.85 billion to shareholders as interim dividend for the first half of 2017.
Jim Ovia who is chairman of the board, holds the largest individual equity stake of 9.38 per cent in Zenith Bank.
No single individual ultimately holds more than 10 per cent equity stake in the bank. Zenith Bank has some 645,754 shareholders, but about 84 per cent of these fall below 10,000 shares range.
The board of Zenith Bank indicated that a dividend per share of 25 kobo will be paid to shareholders on the register of the bank as at the close of business on August 18, 2017. The dividend will be paid on August 25, 2017. Zenith Bank had paid similar rate for the first half of 2016.
The dividend declaration was one of the highpoints of the first-half audited report and accounts of the bank, which showed impressive growths across the key indicators. Highlights of the earnings report for the period ended June 30, 2017 showed that group gross earnings jumped by 77.1 per cent to N380.44 billion in first half 2017 as against N214.8 billion recorded in first half 2016. Profit before tax rose by 71 per cent from N53.91 billion in 2016 to N92.18 billion in 2017 while profit after tax nearly doubled from N35.47 billion in first half 2016 to N75.32 billion in first half 2017.
Ovia founded Zenith Bank in 1990 and remained its chief executive officer until new regulations by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) set tenure for executives of banks, easing out most of the longstanding executives.
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