By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
COMMONWEALTH Bank has given its 6,000-plus shareholders some extra Christmas cheer by paying an extraordinary $0.02 per share dividend on December 22.
The extraordinary pay-out comes less than two months after the October stock split, which sparked a sharp increase in the share price from $3.83 at the time of the split to over $4.90.
William B Sands, Commonwealth Bank’s executive chairman, said: “Along with regular quarterly dividends, the Bank will pay a total of $0.10 per share in fiscal 2017; nearly $30 million in value.
“Based on the bank’s strong capital position, the Board has approved increasing the common share payout ratio from 65 per cent to 75 per cent of net income after payment of the preference share dividend. The slow growth in the economy means that the bank is well-positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities that are available without having to retain such a high level of current year earnings.”
Commonwealth Bank’s 2017 third quarter results revealed $39.7 million in comprehensive net income for the first nine months of the year. It has assets of $1.7 billion, is capitalised at levels exceeding Central Bank requirements, and non-performing or impaired loans are one-third of the commercial banking industry average. Mr Sands said Commonwealth Bank remains “cautiously optimistic” about the economy as it prepares for 2018.