Shareholders laud Sterling bank’s corporate governance principle

Sterling-BankApprove nine kobo dividend
Shareholders of Sterling Bank Plc have lauded the bank for its strict adherence to corporate governance principles, even as they approved the bank’s 9 kobo dividend due to every investor for the 2015 operations.

The shareholders who spoke on the 54th yearly general meeting of the bank, held in Lagos yesterday, also urge the bank to do everything within its powers to grow its deposit base in the next financial year.

The General Secretary, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Adebayo Adeleke explained that the directors of the bank and its committee attended all the meetings in full during the year under review, noting that the number of management attendance to meeting the bank’s meeting is the highest so far in the industry.

He, however urged the bank to be wary of its exposure in oil and gas due to the volatility in the industry.“We urge you to keep it up with your corporate governance principles. The management and committee attended their meetings in full without anyone being absent during the year under review. We are impressed. This is the highest attendance we have recorded so far.

The Chairman,,Ibadan Zone Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Shola Aboderin lauded the bank for its impressive performance especially the reduction in the cost of its operations during the year under review.

He urged the bank to ensure that they increase the dividend payout in the next financial year.
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Yemi Adeola explained that the bank recorded a profit after tax of N10.3 billion in its 2015 operations, against N9 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2014.

Specifically, the bank’s posted a profit after tax of N10.3 billion, representing an increase of 14.3 per cent, over N9 billion achieved in 2014.

The bank’s profit before tax also rose from N10.7 billion to N11.0 billion during the year under review. Non-interest income grew by 13.7 per cent from N25.7 billion in 2014 to N29.3 billion largely due to a 57 per cent increase in trading income.

Confirming the efficiency of the lender’s management, operating expenses decreased by 1.9 per cent from N50.6billion to N49.7 billion. Its net interest income however, declined by 8.1 per cent from N43.0 billion to N39.5 billion, driven by an 18.5 per cent increase in interest expense resulting in a 630 basis points reduction in net interest margin to 48.9 per cent.

Cost-to-Income Ratio improved by 140 basis points to 72.2 per cent, Capital Adequacy Ratio stood at a record high of 17.5per cent, while liquidity buffers remained strong as the Bank grew its After Tax Profit by 14.3per cent.”

He pointed out that the 2015 performance offered a clear validation of the underlying resilience of its business model, noting that the bank would continue to maintain a delicate balance between delivering on near term goals and laying the foundation for the future.

“Asset quality remained resilient with Non-Performing Loans (NPL) below the maximum regulatory threshold of 5per cent despite a significant reduction in the loan book, arising from the replacement of state government loans with federal government bonds.

“We also maintained a very liquid balance sheet position despite the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the FGN. This outcome reflects some initial progress with the retail funding strategy and further supports the material investments that we are making in this area,” he said.

Commenting on the outlook for the 2016, Yemi Adeola said: “We are of the view that the current macro-economic challenges present their own opportunities for agile and dynamic operators. We recognize that re-structuring of the sort that the current Federal Administration is pursuing takes time but like many other Nigerian businesses, we view the pursuit of economic self-reliance as commendable.

He added: “Consequently, we remain optimistic for the future but are not under any illusion that the near term operating environment would be more favorable as we expect some policy volatility in the course of the year. There is clearly ‘a new normal’ and the future will belong to those who can develop new competences even while retaining the core strengths that have led them to success in the past. Our desire is to make Sterling Bank one of those.”

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