Banks show mixed trend in dividends
Sarwar A Chowdhury
Listed banks are demonstrating a mixed trend in dividends declared for 2013.
Of the 30 listed banks, 10 have so far distributed profits to the shareholders; four banks declared higher dividends than last year, two have declared lower dividends, while four have given the same dividends as last year, according to data from Dhaka Stock Exchange.
Although 2013 was a tough year for banks as business activities were hampered by political unrest, the central bank's move to relax loan rules at the end of the year helped them recover losses, a banker said yesterday.
In a notice on December 23, Bangladesh Bank suggested lenders reconsider loan rescheduling and down payments until June this year on a case-by-case basis for borrowers in all sectors affected by political instability.
“The banks benefitted from the central bank's move. And so, there was a big shift in the fourth quarter than the previous ones,” said Mohammad Mamdudur Rashid, deputy managing director of Brac Bank, which announced higher dividends.
Overall, banks that saw better income than the previous year are giving higher dividends for 2013, he added.
“In our case, our local loan business was almost similar to the previous year, but our offshore banking business was good.”
However, banking share prices fell on the trading board last week and continued the fall yesterday, as corporate declarations from the sector could not fulfill retail investors' expectations.
Banking shares fell by 3.16 percent last week on the premier bourse, disappointing investors the most. It declined 1.67 percent yesterday.
News:The Daily Star/10-Mar-2014