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Equity Bank Cancels Dividends for FY2019, Cites Covid-19

Kenya’s second largest lender, Equity Group Holdings has cancelled the proposed dividend payout  for the Financial Year 2019 citing the need for cash during the current Corona Virus Pandemic.

In a statement sent to shareholders, Equity Group, the country’s second largest lender said, “the board has passed a resolution withdrawing the proposed dividend recommendation and instead will be recommending to the shareholders that no dividend is paid for the financial year ended 31st December, 2019”

This means, investors in the company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the Rwanda Stock Exchange and the Uganda Stock Exchange have nothing to smile about, at least for the next one year.

Equity Bank was set to close books on June 12th, 2020 and had declared a dividend of Kes. 2.50 per share. Dividend payment was slated for the 24th of July, 2020.

This now raises concerns on companies yet to pay dividends, including those that had already closed their books like KCB Group Plc. Earlier in the month, NCBA Group called off cash dividend and instead offered investors a bonus dividend, citing Covid-19.

Co-operative Bank had paid dividends in April, while Absa Bank Kenya Plc is yet to set date for a books closure.