October 13, 2021 telecom

Zain announces $150m semi annual cash dividends for H1


Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom operator in seven markets across Middle East and Africa, has approved the recommendation of the board of directors to distribute semi-annual cash dividends worth KD43 million ($150 million), equivalent to 10 fils per share, for the first half of the current fiscal year.

Announcing this at the company’s ordinary general assembly in Kuwait today (October 12), Zain said these cash dividends form part of the company’s commitment to distribute annual dividends of a minimum 33 fils per share annually that commenced in 2019, in a move described as unprecedented at the time.

Today’s approval by the OGA represents a cash dividend distribution of KD43 million ($150 million) and signifies Zain as the first listed company in Boursa Kuwait’s ‘Premier’ market to pay out semi-annual cash dividends, it added.

Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO Bader Al Kharafi said: 'The dividend policy decision is one of the most important taken by the company's board. This step gave a clear indication to the strength of our financial solvency, and the company's ability to execute on its strategic investment and financial plans. Moreover, Zain’s FinTech aspirations are aimed at obtaining a digital banking license and be the first Telco-led challenger bank across the Middle East.'

'Additionally, the semi-annual dividend enhances Boursa Kuwait and Zain’s position on the world equity stage, enriching and stimulating investment as the global investor community consider it a key factor when determining investment destinations, given interim dividends reflect favorable operational performance,' stated Al Kharafi.

He pointed out that this step also highlighted executive management's growth strategy of modernization and seeking new lucrative verticals especially in the digital services sector, which has seen Zain establishing structures to support the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurs to enter markets across the region and beyond.

'These opportune investments will ensure Zain achieves healthy cash flows and sustainable returns for shareholders,' he added.

Zain views the opportunities presented by the digital economy in the Middle East as brimming with potential, as digital capabilities offer greater levels of innovation and direct positive impact on economic and social development.

'One area we are keen on fostering are innovations in the Fintech space and becoming a telco led challenger bank, given the success and exponential growth we have had to date with ‘Tamam’ in Saudi Arabia and ‘Zain Cash’ in Iraq and Jordan,' stated Al Kharafi.

'Notably, Tamam was the first entity in region to be licensed by a regulator -the Saudi Central Bank (Sama) to offer consumer micro-loans via a digital mobile app, with Zain Cash leading the Fintech revolution in Iraq and Jordan. Notably, Zain Jordan recently received approvals to offer credit solutions,” he added.

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