Eastern Bank Ltd has recommended 25 percent cash dividend for its shareholders for the 2019 financial year.
The payout fell short of the dividend recommended in 2018, which was 20 percent cash and 10 percent stock dividends for its shareholders.
A meeting of the bank's board of directors was held online on Sunday amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, in which the dividend payout was recommended.
The net profit of the bank increased by 29 percent in 2019 as compared to that in the last financial year. Eastern Bank posted a net profit of Tk400 crore in the 2019 financial year as against Tk311 crore in 2018.
Seeking anonymity, a high official of the bank told The Business Standard, the country's economy is facing a tough time due to the corona pandemic. So, banks have strengthened their retained earnings to combat the economic crisis. This is why the board of the bank recommended a lower dividend for its shareholders.
The annual general meeting (AGM) of Eastern Bank will be held on May 19 where the bank's recommended dividend and financial report will be approved. The AGM will be held online and the record date will be May 3.
The earnings per share of the bank stood at Tk4.92 while the net asset value per share amounted to Tk31.98 by the end of the 2019 financial year.
The bank's net operating cash flow per share was Tk23.64 as on December 31, 2019.
The paid-up capital of the bank is currently Tk811.80 crore.
Sponsors and directors together had 31.56 percent shares of Eastern Bank till last February. The institutional investors, foreign investors and general investors owned 44.50 percent, 0.32 percent and 23.62 percent shares respectively till February 2020.
The last closing price of Eastern Bank shares was Tk31.10 per share on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, while the bank's shares hit their highest value of Tk43.50 per share in the last one year.