BSP Group records improved net profit

Despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and other Pacific countries where it operates, Bank of South Pacific Group again recorded improved outcomes last year with a net profit of $609.59m, marking an increase of $31.70m on the 2018 result.

BSP Group chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou said when considering the final dividend payment for 2019, the Board gave due regard to BSP’s dividend policy, capital soundness, potential impact on capital sharing from increased provisioning that may result from COVID-19 related economic impact and credit stress testing.

He said the board had also recognised that the dividend was a final dividend for audited 2019 results, which were finalised before any significant COVID-19 events occurred in PNG.

“The directors, therefore, have determined a final dividend of 65.72 cents per share interim dividend paid in October 2019, the total dividend payment for the 2019 financial year is $0.9116 per share, generating a yield of 11.17 per cent on the current share price of $8.22 as at May 13, 2020,” Sir Kostas said in the market announcement issued via SPX.

He said the payout ratio for 2019 of 70.32 per cent was lower than the 2018 ratio of 75.84 per cent to allow for maintaining BSP’s capital buffer given the uncertainties associated with COVID-19.

Sir Kostas said BSP’s balance sheet remained strong with a capital adequacy ratio of 23.7 per cent as at March 2020 “and will remain well above BPNG guidelines after payment of the final dividends”.

He said the full-year dividend represented a total distribution of $428.64m to BSP shareholders.

Over the past seven years, total dividends paid by BSP to its shareholders totaled $2.31billion.

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