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National Bank posts 12pc growth

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 9 – National Bank of Kenya (NBK)  shareholders  will have to wait a while longer before they can receive dividends even as the bank\’ s pretax profit for 2008 rose by 12 percent  to stand at  Sh8 billion.

Speaking during the bank’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, Managing Director Reuben Marambii said (NBK) would have to post consistent profit margins before paying out dividends to shareholders.

“We are happy with the bank\’s positive growth but we are not in a position to pay dividends until the bank is able to grow two to three years from now,” he said.

Mr Marambii reassured the shareholders that with the bank\’s positive growth there was no need to worry about loosing out on their investment.

“Those who are following the Nairobi Stock Exchange closely will notice that our share is more valuable than some years back.”

NBK shareholders have not received dividends for close to nine years.

During the meeting shareholders raised concern with the government’s intention to sell off its stake of the bank, a position board chairman Michael Muhindi sought to clarify.

“NBK as a bank is not the one on sale. It is one of its shareholders (government) which wants to sell its stake to the highest bidder publicly.”

“Like anybody else we at  National  Bank have a special interest in the privatisation; therefore should the occasion so demand, we shall facilitate an extraordinary general meeting with shareholders on the matter.”

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National Bank is one of the quasi-owned government institutions that have been earmarked for privatisation and the government has already picked two advisers for the transactions.

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