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Investors stake N5.81b on banks in dividend rush

Published by The Nation on Mon, 19 Jul 2021

By Taofik Salako, Deputy Group Business EditorInvestors are jostling to take positions in major banks ahead of the release of half-year results and interim dividends of those with the tradition of paying dividends twice in a year.Trading data at the weekend showed that about half of the total value traded at the stock market in recent period were related to half-year position in anticipation of interim dividends.At the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, NSEs post-demutualisation name, more than N5.81 billion were staked on the shares of three leading banks- Guaranty Trust Holding Company, the new name of Guaranty Trust Bank; United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Zenith Bank.Market analysts were unanimous that the transactions on the three banks, which represented more than 53.22 per cent of total transcation value at the NGX during the past five-trading sessions, were due to expectations of interim dividends.Five banks, including Guaranty Trust Holding Company, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Access Bank usually pay interim dividends on their half-year results.Read Also;Economy at half year: Investors lose N1.2tr, Naira depreciates by 8 per centThe post-listing rules at the NGX require quoted companies to submit interim or unaudited quarterly report not later than 30 calendar days after the end of the relevant period. Most quoted companies including all banks, major manufacturers, oil and gas companies, breweries and cement companies use the 12-month Gregorian calendar year as their business year.The deadline for the six-month period ended June 30, 2021 is thus Friday, July 30, 2021.However, where a company chooses to audit its quarterly accounts, it shall be required to file such accounts not later than 60 calendar days after the relevant quarter. All the five leading banks also undertake audit of their half-year accounts. The deadline for the submission of their accounts is thus Monday, August 30, 2021.Submission of half-year results for the six-month period ended June 30, 2021 is expected to gather momentum this week, with early filers among the interim dividend-paying stocks expected to make announcements within the next few days.In the coming week, we expect increased volatility in market performance as more companies release their half-year 2021 earnings results, Afrinvest Securities stated.Analysts at Cordros Securities said they expected investors to trade cautiously while taking positions in stocks with attractive dividend yields ahead of half-year 2021 dividend declarations, which intermittent profit-taking activities would match.Notwithstanding, we advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the unimpressive macro story remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings, Cordros Securities stated.The trio of Guaranty Trust Holding Company, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Zenith Bank ranked as the three most active stocks at the NGX in latest weekly analysis, accounting for 261.741 million shares worth N5.813 billion in 3,498 deals, representing 25.95 per cent and 53.22 per cent of the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.Total turnover at the NGX at the weekend stood at 1.008 billion shares worth N10.923 billion in 17,297 deals last week as against a total of 1.348 billion shares valued at N12.140 billion traded in 21,581 deals two weeks ago.Led by banking stocks, the financial services sector remained atop the activity chart with 732.418 million shares valued at N7.213 billion traded in 9,131 deals; representing 72.62 per cent and 66.04 per cent of the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
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