Grameenphone has approved 130 percent cash dividend, including the already disbursed 90 percent interim dividends for 2019, in its 23rd annual general meeting (AGM) held online on Tuesday.
Earlier, there was no provision of attending an AGM without being physically present. But to encourage social distancing, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has amended the rule, allowing listed companies to organise mandatory meetings virtually.
Petter-Børre Furberg, chairman of the Board of Directors of Grameenphone, its CEO Yasir Azman, other board members, and senior officials were present at the online AGM conducted by Company Secretary SM Imdadul Haque.
For Grameenphone, 2019 was a challenging year given the disputed audit claims of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. The company, however, looks forward to solving this dispute before the High Court or amicably through arbitration.
"We are constantly working with the authorities to find an amicable and transparent resolution to protect the rights of customers, partners and shareholders," said Petter-Børre.
The Board of Directors of Grameenphone has announced a final dividend for the year 2019 in cash at the rate of 40 percent of the paid-up capital or Tk4 per share of Tk10 each.
With this cash dividend payout, the total cash dividend stands at 130 percent of the paid-up capital, including the previous 90 percent interim cash dividend payout, amounting to 50.86 percent of profit after tax for the year 2019.
However, to combat the deadly Covid-19 outbreak in Bangladesh, Grameenphone has put "safety first for its employees, customers, partners and shareholders by working closely with Access to Information [a2i], the Directorate General of Health Services [DGHS], the World Health Organization, Unicef and different authorities."
The mobile operator has also donated 50,000 medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and 10,000 test kits for health professionals. DGHS designated hospitals for treating coronavirus patients will get the PPE and testing kits.
"We ask everyone to play a vigilant role and seek everyone's support to come forward and ensure the safety of society," said Petter-Børre, adding, "We believe that this needs to be a collaborative effort, and as a united force, we can surely contain its adverse effect on the economy and empower the society."