(Ecofin Agency) - Holders of Nigeria's Guaranty Trust Bank’s (GTB) global depository receipts will have to wait a little longer to collect their dividends for the 2019 financial year. The banking group, which is listed on the Lagos Stock Exchange and also on the London Stock Exchange, explained that the institution which serves as custodian for the shares corresponding to these certificates (Citibank Nigeria) is awaiting authorization from the Central Bank to transfer these dividends.
The group did not give any information on the volume of shares concerned. For 2019, the Bank announced a dividend of 2.5 naira per share. In the annual report for the same year, it is stated that a total of 2.12 billion shares are held through depositary receipts. It can therefore be concluded that close to 5.3 billion naira of dividends are awaiting payment, or about $13.87 million.
This situation is likely to add to the concern of international investors about financial products issued from Nigeria. Recent reports have also indicated that non-Nigerian investors who have been investing in short-term government debt securities are now in a dilemma. The Central Bank has suspended the availability of dollars to international investors.
According to a technical analysis carried out over the last 52 weeks of stock market trading, the current valuation of GTB is down 46.2% since the beginning of the year. It is also down 46.7% from its high for the period, but up 15.7% from its low.
The Bank has also been going through difficult times over the past four years. Its net earnings per share declined from 33.3% in 2016 to only 6.3% in 2019.
Similarly, its banking operating income dropped from a 175.9% increase in 2017 to only 16% in 2019.
It is not certain that 2020 will be a better year. The results of the first half of 2020 will provide more information on how the banking group has managed covid-19.