1. What is a dividend?

  • A company that is making a profit often keeps a portion of its earnings to reinvest in the future of its business. The remaining profits will normally be given back to the owners of the company, its shareholders, as a dividend payment. The dividend is may be paid in two or more installments over the year. The initial payments are called 'interim dividends' and the remainder, paid as a 'final' dividend, is approved by the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.

2. What is a withholding tax on a dividend?

  • A dividend is normally paid net of a portion of tax, referred to as a ‘withholding tax', which is then used by the company to pay the Corporation Tax that is charged on its profits. The portion of tax credit is currently fixed at one tenth of the gross dividend.

3. Dividend payment issues

Dividend mandate rejected by the bank
If your dividend is paid directly into your bank account it may be rejected for two reasons:

  • The account has been closed.
  • The account details are incorrect.

In this situation, DataMax Registrars will receive notification from the bank. The payment will be cancelled and we will issue a cheque and post to your registered address.
Dividend cheque is out of date

You should return the out of date cheque(s) to us for verification, re-dating and re-issue, our correct address for return can be found through Contact Us.

4. Dividend cheque has been lost or stolen. Can I have a new one?

  • If you have lost a dividend payment or the cheque has been stolen, you will need to send a fax or letter to DataMax Registrars requesting the payment be cancelled and reissued. Please state the company in which you hold shares along with your full name, registered address and Shareholder Account Number (SRN) if known and ensure the instruction is signed.
  • If we confirm the details, we will send you a replacement.

    Dividend has not been received

    You may not have received a dividend payment because :
  • Your registered address is incorrect
  • You purchased shares after the ex-dividend date and were not entitled to receive the dividend.

5. What does 'ex-dividend' mean?

  • This is a description, sometimes abbreviated to 'xd' that is often quoted next to a share price. It translates as 'without dividend' and means that the next dividend payment is not included in the price of the share. This is necessary because the dividend is paid to all shareholders who were on the register at close of trading on a specified day. Any shareholder buying shares who is registered after this day, will not receive the dividend. To compensate for this, the market price usually drops by the amount of the dividend payment and the description 'xd' is added to share price quotations to confirm that this has happened. To avoid confusion around this time, prices are sometimes quoted 'cum dividend' (meaning 'with dividend') which means that the buyer will be entitled to the next dividend payment and the share price has not been adjusted.

6. Can I have my dividends as shares instead of cash?

  • Sometimes companies offer shareholders a way of taking dividends in the form of company shares. That is by traditional Scrip scheme. In a Scrip scheme, the cash dividend is not paid to holders. Instead, shares are allotted to participating holders and share certificates sent to them on the payment date. Scrip dividends have proved popular with shareholders.

7. Can I have my dividends paid straight to my bank account?

  • Yes, this is possible with most bank accounts in Nigeria and is sometimes referred to as a 'payment instruction' or 'dividend mandate'.
  • Mandating your dividends is easy and has a number of advantages for you.
  • Firstly, the dividend will go into your account on payment date – there is no chance of it being delayed in the post and you do not have to wait for a cheque to clear.
  • Secondly, the payment method is more secure than receiving a cheque through the post.
  • You can click here  to complete a form that can be printed stamped, signed by your bankers and posted to us.

8. I sent you a payment instruction form. Why did I then receive a cheque?

  • Dividend is usually paid to all shareholders on the register on a specified day, known as the 'record or payment date'. Soon after this date, we will calculate the dividend due to all holdings and begin printing cheques / dividend warrants. If we receive your payment instruction form before this date we will do everything we can to register it in time for the dividend. Sometimes however, we will not receive the form until after printing has begun. If this happens, we can only ensure that the instruction is registered for the following payment.

9. You have told me that a dividend is going to be paid to my old account. What will happen to the money?

  • If your new account is with the same bank, it is expected that they will usually forward the payment to your new account. If this does not happen, the bank should follow their procedure to return the money to us. We will then send you a cheque for the amount. We aim to do this very quickly after the dividend is paid but in some cases, it could take up to 1 month.

10. What is the difference between dividend and interest payments?

  • Dividends are a portion of a company’s profit that is paid to the shareholders, that is, the owners of the company. Dividends therefore vary in their amount depending on how profitable the company is, and if a company is not making any profit at all, it is unlikely to pay a dividend to shareholders. Interest is paid by the company on money it has borrowed (for example, by issuing Loan Stock to investors) and is usually paid in arrears at the rates and times specified in accordance with the terms and conditions.

11. Why is it that not all of my dividends are displayed?

These are the most common reasons:

  • If the dividend was made at a time when DataMax Registrars was not the registrar for the company, we may not hold the data.
  • If 7 dividends are already displayed for the account – this is the maximum number we can display.
  • If the payment was made more than 3 years ago it may not be displayed.
  • If the information on a payment has been removed from the main register. For GTBank Plc, dividends paid within the last 3 years will be displayed.

end faq