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Shareholders urge FSDH Merchant Bank to pursue growth plan, others

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General Manager, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Robert Ajiamah(left): Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Rilwan Belo-Osagie; Executive Director, Mrs Hamda Ambah, at the bank’s pre-yearly general meeting press briefing in Lagos: PHOTO: SUNDAY AKINLOLU

Shareholders of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited have urged the company to pursue vigorously, its growth strategy, especially the focus in manufacturing and agro-allied sectors to enhance its profitability and increase shareholders’ value in the current financial year.

Speaking at the company’s yearly general meeting, one of the shareholders, Muhiba Abas, said the performance of the bank was not as good as the previous year, considering the nation’s economic recession.

She bemoaned the on-going recession that has bedeviled the country in the past one year, noting that the downturn has continued to impact negatively of firms’ bottom-line.

Reacting to the inability of the company to pay dividend, she said: “it is strategic that the company did not pay dividend and because there are other investment plans. We should rather use the money for strategic plans.”

“Our expectation is that dividend would be paid in the nearest future when we would have effected a plan, the situation in the country improved and the company grows. We want to grow the company so that we can have better returns subsequently,” Abas added.

But another shareholder, Tosa Ogbomo, argued that the bank did extremely well given the challenges that confronted the economy, noting that it remains one of the strongest financial institutions in the country.

“Regarding the 2016 performance, it set a good platform for growth in the future. Given the challenges in 2016, it is to be expected that dividend will not be paid. The level of profitability that the company did should be applauded. It is a one-year hick-up in terms of dividend. There is always 2017, so we have to take a longer-term view about the prospect of the company. We have a great management, great company; the only thing we can look forward to is good growth and good profitability in 2017.

“The government has to do more on employment and foreign exchange, but more fundamentally, create a conducive place for businesses to thrive. If this is done, FSDH within that context will do well.”

The chairman of the bank, Osaro Isokpan, told shareholders that the company has put modalities in place in order to leverage emerging opportunities in Nigeria and deliver better returns to shareholders.

According to him, FSDH Group will continue to explore and expand relationships with its esteemed clients in carefully selected industries as well as offer them tailor-made solutions.

Isokpan, who noted that the weak macroeconomic environment adversely impacted the group’s businesses in 2016, however maintained that with the expected improvement in the operating environment in the current year, it will continue to maximise shareholders value.

This will be done by constantly re-inventing and realigning its operations and services to exceed the expectations of its various stakeholders.



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