Equity Bank Confirms Dividend Payouts and Subsidiary Formation at 20th Annual Meeting

Equity Group shareholders have overwhelmingly approved all proposals presented by the Board of Directors during their 20th Annual General Meeting held virtually on Wednesday.

Shareholders endorsed a Ksh 15.1 billion dividend payout for the second consecutive year, reflecting a payout ratio of 36%, up from 33.6% the previous year.

“The Kshs. 4 per share dividend amounts to a 36% payout of the Kshs.43.7 billion Profit After Tax or Kshs 11.1 earnings per share and dividend yield of 11.9% on the 2023 year-end closing share price of Kshs.33.65 or 800% on par value.” Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO, explained.

Building on the 19th Annual General Meeting’s approval of the Equity Group Employee Share Ownership Programme (EGH ESOP), shareholders in the 20th meeting gave the green light to the EGH ESOP Trust Deed and Scheme Rules. This initiative positions Equity Group as an employer of choice across its operational markets by attracting and retaining top talent.

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“The staff are the most valuable assets we have, and they are the ones that deliver the promise to our customer and the ESOP will attract and retain the right talent,’ commented Prof. Isaac Macharia, Equity Group Chairman.

Shareholders affirmed the establishment of a banking holding company to consolidate the activities of all Equity Group’s banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This restructuring streamlines operations under four main groups: Banking Group, Insurance Group, Technology Group, and Foundation Group.

Equity shareholders also agreed to the incorporation of a health insurance subsidiary to operate in Kenya, further solidifying its presence in the insurance sector. This subsidiary will function under Equity Group Insurance Holdings Limited, which already offers life and general insurance products in the country.

The meeting ratified the acquisition of Cogebanque, which has positioned Equity Bank Rwanda as the second-largest bank in the Rwandan market with an 18% market share. This move strengthens Rwanda’s economy by enabling the facilitation of larger transactions.

Prof. Isaac Macharia highlighted the Group’s unwavering commitment to supporting its customers through challenging economic times. Equity Group has a long-standing tradition of providing accessible, affordable, and relevant products and services tailored to the unique needs of each customer.

Dr. Mwangi highlighted the Group’s strong performance, reflecting a positive outlook, continued growth trajectory, and commitment to shared value creation. Equity’s position as a systemic bank in East Africa, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, positions it for continued success.

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“We are now a systemic bank in East Africa, a region that has emerged among the fastest growing regions in the world. Our outlook remains positive, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, Equity has adapted with agility and responsiveness to mitigate the challenging market conditions across the region. This reflects the strength of its leadership, the resilience of the employees, the anchored nature of our twin-engine business model, and the relevance of the Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan (ARRP).” Dr. Mwangi said.

“We have made good progress through the year in attaining the key objectives under the Plan as we increased our client numbers to 19.6 million customers up from 17.7 million. In addition, the number of borrowing businesses increased to 0.3 million while borrowing customers stood at 0.84 million. Overall, we have made good stride in pursuing the Plan. As the ARRP is strongly hinged on unlocking the primary sector in Africa, a major concern for the Group in the year revolved around nature and climate change,” he added.

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