I&M gets Sh457m dividend from Mauritius subsidiary

I&M Group was paid a dividend of Sh457.6 million by its Mauritius subsidiary Bank One in November 2022 following the improved financial performance of the unit in the period.

Bank One, which is owned on a 50/50 basis by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE -listed firm and Mauritian conglomerate CIEL Limited, said that it distributed a total of 320 million Mauritian rupees (Sh915.2 million at present exchange rates) to its owners in the payout.

This equated to a payout of 21.97 rupees (Sh62.83) per share.

“Pursuant to the board meeting held on September 7, 2022, a final dividend of MUR320 million (MUR21.97 per share) was approved for distribution as a dividend to shareholders and was paid in November 2022, out of retained earnings,” said Bank One in its annual report for 2022.

In 2021, the lender paid out a dividend of MUR168 million (Sh480.5 million), out of which Sh240 million was due to I&M Group. This dividend, which was approved in November 2021, was however only paid out in January 2022—when it was approved by the Bank of Mauritius, meaning that on I&M’s books, it was booked as 2022 income.

Therefore, the Kenyan lender booked a total of Sh697.6 million in dividend income from its Bank One stake in the year ended December 2022. I&M is set to release its full-year financial results this week, which will reflect the impact of this dividend income.

Bank One made a net profit of MUR493 million (Sh1.41 billion) last year, a growth of 19 per cent from the MUR413 million (Sh1.18 billion) the lender made in 2021. The profits were mainly driven by higher interest income after a rise in rates in Mauritius in the year and marked a second straight period of improved earnings following a sharp drop seen in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The growing earnings thus saw the lender raise its dividend payout year-on-year, despite facing a tougher-than-expected operating environment due to high inflation in Mauritius last year. I&M acquired a 50 percent stake in Bank One in 2008, making it the first acquisition for the lender outside Kenya.

In 2020, I&M and CIEL invested an additional Sh793 million in the unit in 2020 to boost its capital position in the wake of the pandemic which increased credit risk for banks worldwide. The new equity capital was supplemented by borrowings amounting to Sh1.5 billion.

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