Sh135.6 billion pay-outs: Listed banks pay 48pc of the NSE dividends

Nairobi Securities Exchange

The Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Listed banks accounted for nearly half of all dividends paid out by Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) companies according to an analysis of data from the bourse.

Lenders’ latest dividend per share covering the year ended December 2023 tallied to Sh66.4 billion, a 48.9 per cent share of the cumulative Sh135.6 billion pay-outs from all counters.

The high absolute payout by the banking sector has anchored investor interests for the counter informing the notable share price gains seen this year.

As of Wednesday this week, listed banks’ share prices had jumped by an average of 17.4 per cent on a year- to -date basis with Equity Group soaring by 32.3 per cent to trade at Sh44.55 a piece.

Incidentally, Equity Group paid out the highest dividend to shareholders on absolute terms at Sh15 billion which rounds off to a dividend per share of Sh4 on its over 3.7 billion issued shares.

Other top banking sector paying counters were Standard Chartered Bank Kenya which paid out Sh10.9 billion or a dividend per share of 29, Cooperative Bank and Absa Bank Kenya whose combined payouts stood at Sh8.8 billion and Sh8.4 billion respectively.

NCBA Group meanwhile has a dividend per share totaling Sh7.8 billion for the year ended December 2023 placing it ahead of Stanbic Holdings Plc, I&M Holdings, BK Group, and Diamond Trust Bank whose dividends rounded off to Sh6 billion, Sh4.2 billion, Sh3.3 billion and Sh1.6 billion respectively.

The Housing Finance Group and KCB were the only non-dividend paying counters in banking with the latter attributing its rare dividend skip to the need of preserving its capital adequacy buffers going into 2024 amid elevated expenses including high loan provisioning costs.

Non-banking counters paid the balance of Sh69.2 billion dividends with the bulk of the distribution coming from Safaricom at Sh48 billion or a Sh1.20 dividend per share from its operations to March 2023.

Other non-bank dividend paying counters in the year were plantation firms Kakuzi, Kapchorua, Limuru Tea, Sasini and Williamson.

The list further includes Car and General, Nation Media Group, Bamburi Cement, Crown Paints, KenGen, Total, Umeme, CIC, Jubilee, Kenya Re, Centum and the NSE.

BOC Kenya, BAT, Carbacid and EABL also paid dividends to shareholders in the last 12 months.

Total dividends by non-banking counters could be set for a further rise over the short-term with companies like Safaricom and Jubilee being expected to report a new set of financial statements.

Nearly half of the NSE counters or 30 firms did not pay dividends to shareholders in the past year.

These include suspended counters such as Deacons, Kenya Airways and ARM Cement.