Listed companies set aside Shs265b to pay dividends

Thursday May 14 2020

Wait a little longer: Although companies have

Wait a little longer: Although companies have set aside Shs265.5b to pay dividends, shareholders will have to wait a little longer for them to access the money. FILE PHOTO  

By Ashita Chopra

Six out of the nine locally listed companies have indicated they will give a combined sum of Shs265.5b in dividends for the period ended December 31, 2019.
The Shs265.5b is an improvement from the Shs200.4b that was paid out to shareholders for the period ended December 31, 2018.
The six companies including Bank of Baroda, Umeme, BATU, Dfcu, Stanbic Bank and New Vision all declared dividends payouts for the year ended 2019 after posting impressive performances in which they registered combined profits of Shs533.41b for the year ended December 31, 2019.

However, the other companies including CiplaQCI, NIC and Uganda Clays have not declared any dividend payout due to a fall in income, which has seen them slide into losses.
National Social Security Fund (NSSF), which is one of Uganda’s largest institutional investor is expected to be the biggest beneficiaries.

Largest beneficiaries
NSSF, which has stakes in a number of companies such as Uganda Clays, Umeme, Stanbic Bank, Dfcu, New Vision, CiplaQCI and other regional stocks including Safaricom, Equity Bank and KCB, is at least, according to Mr Richard Byarugaba, the Fund’s managing director, expected to earn about Shs20b from its shareholding in locally listed companies.

Others including individual investors such as Mr Sudhir Ruparelia are also expected to earn substantial sums from their shareholding in different companies.
Asked what he expected to earn from dividend payouts from his various stakes, Mr Ruparelia yesterday told Daily Monitor it was difficult to estimate now that government had frozen payment of dividends for at least three months.
“Companies have not held shareholder meetings and I don’t know when or how much they are planning to pay. I am waiting for the annual general meetings to see what happens,” he said without going into figures.

However, the pay outs will have to wait until further notice pending guidance from Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), which recently directed listed companies to suspend dividend payments to allow such companies have enough capital and cash flow to shield their operations and the economy at large, which has taken a biting from Covid-19.
The Central Bank also recently directed all supervised financial institutions, among them commercial banks to suspend dividend and bonus payments in order to protect the economy that is currently experiencing slowed growth due to Covid-19.
Stanbic Bank, which posted a profit of Shs259b for the year ended December 31, 2019 declared a proposed dividend of Shs129b with each share receiving Shs2.15.
The payout was a growth from Shs97.5b that was paid to shareholders in 2018.
Umeme shareholders will receive Shs41.34 per share from Shs28.2 that was paid out in 2018.

At least a total of Shs66b will be paid out compared to Shs45.7b that was paid during the same period in 2018. The power distributor posted Shs139b in profits for the period under review.
Bank of Baroda will pay out Shs25b in dividends for the year ended December 31, 2019 from Shs18.7b that was paid out in 2018. At least each share will receive Shs10. Baroda registered a fall in profit to Shs45.3b in the period from Shs73.42b in 2018.
British American Tobacco, which has in the last five years substantially reduced its operations in Uganda, declared a dividend payout of Shs13.72b. while, Dfcu will pay out Shs29.9b from Shs24.6b in 2018.

For the half year ended December 31, 2019, New Vision Printing and Publishing Company Limited declared a dividend payout of Shs1.9b.
Drugs maker CiplaQCI, insurance firm, NIC and Uganda Clays, which recently sacked four top managers including managing director George Inholo, all did not declare dividend payouts due to losses.

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editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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