JM | Feb 6, 2023

Still no dividend declaration at NCB

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Since pandemic, NCB has only paid only one dividend

NCB Financial Group’s The Atrium in New Kingston.

Durrant Pate/Contributor

National Commercial Bank Financial Group shareholders have been left frowning again, as they will not be getting a dividend for the first quarter, ended December 2022, having been on the waiting list for more than a year and a half.

In fact, since the pandemic, Jamaica’s largest banking group has paid out a dividend to shareholders only once, in 2021, when the board approved a dividend of J$0.50 per ordinary stock unit. The dividend was payable on May 31, 2021 for stockholders on record as at May 14, 2021.

However, the Board of Directors, at its meeting last Thursday (February 2), decided not to pay an interim dividend for the December 2022 quarter. This is owing to the fact that the banking group recorded a poor first quarter with profit tumbling by J$4.0 billion, down 75 per cent over the same period in 2021.

Profitability plunged

Consolidated net profit attributable to stockholders amounted to J$836 million, a decline of J$1.8 billion or 68 per cent from the prior year. Earnings per share for the December quarter totalled J$0.34 relative to the J$1.07 booked during the comparable period in 2021. 

Michael Lee-Chin, chairman of NCB Financial Group.

NCB Financial Group stock price closed last Thursday J$80.00 with a corresponding P/E ratio of 7.73 times. However, this is not going down well with some shareholders, who pointed to the 2021-2022 financial year, which ended last September, in which the banking group almost doubled its net profit totalling J$39.92 billion, up from J$20.07 billion or an increase of J$19.8 billion or 99 per cent.

Even then, the Michael Lee-Chin and Patrick Hylton-led board and management team did not declare a dividend for shareholders, who are frustrated with the continued absence of any dividend payment.

Other entities hurting from no-dividend

Aside from individual shareholders, there are corporate entities which are shareholders in NCB that are hurting from the lack of any dividend payments for the past year and a half. One such entity is Sagicor Financial Select Fund, whose losses have been mounting.

Sagicor Financial Select Fund recorded net losses for the period January to September 2022 climbing to J$347.6 million, representing a fall-off of more than 100 per cent relative to net loss of J$127.0 million for the corresponding period in 2021. It continues to be impacted by companies such as NCB not paying any dividend.


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