By Oliver Kazunga
Steward Bank has declared a $2 million interim dividend for the six months ended August 31, 2018 based on the financial institution’s performance and the desire to strengthen its capital position.
During the period under review, the bank, which is Econet Wireless Zimbabwe’s subsidiary continued on a strong financial footing recording double digit growth.
The bank’s profit after tax for the period under review amounted to $19 million compared to $8,5 million during the comparable period last year.
“The board has declared an interim dividend of $2 million for the six months ended August 31, 2018, after taking into account the performance of the bank and the need to strengthen the bank’s capital position,” board chairman, Mr Bernard Chidzero, said in a statement accompanying financial results for the half-year period.
During the period under review, the bank also recorded a significant growth in net operating income compared to the same period last year.
Net operating income for the half year grew by 103 percent to $53,6 million up from $26,4 million registered in the same period last year.
“Our total assets, cash and cash equivalents grew by 76 percent and 226 percent respectively from prior years largely driven by a 95 percent increase in customer deposits.
“Our non-interest income grew to $41,7 million, up from $24,2 million, a 72 percent uplift from the comparable period last year.
“This is attributable to the substantial increase in the number of customers using our digital platforms and the growing strength of our transactional banking model,” he said.
Despite the prevailing economic challenges, Mr Chidzero said his bank continues to offer relevant products and services to the market as it positions as the leading digital bank in the country.
He said emphasis was on simplifying banking and providing universal access to financial services through innovation.
“We aim to ‘bank the world’ by providing convenient and price-competitive products and services to all segments of our society.
“The board of Steward Bank will continue to place great emphasis on industry recapitalisation by focusing some of our resources towards funding sustainable energy, healthcare and education projects.
“As the nation rebuilds and industry retools, the bank will continue to support economic growth,” said Mr Chidzero.
The bank has launched a $100 million fund aimed at resuscitating the country’s ailing healthcare sector by providing support to healthcare practitioners who wish to retool and invest in the latest health-tech capabilities.
In addition, the bank has also partnered with SNV International to participate in a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) rural finance project to provide affordable financial services to rural households, improve agricultural productivity, increase incomes, food security and nutrition and reduce poverty in the country. The Chronicle