Development Bank becomes the first statutory body to pay dividend to Government

Prime Minister the Right Hon Dr Denzil Douglas (left), receiving a dividend cheque for EC$250,000 from the Chairman of the Development Bank, Mr Elvis Newton at the Carambola Beach Club.

Basseterre St. Kitts (December 18, 2011) — The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis has set a precedent by being the first statutory corporation to pay dividend to its sole shareholder, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, a move that has been lauded by Prime Minister the Right Hon Dr Denzil Douglas.

On Saturday December 17, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Development Bank, Mr Elvis Newton presented the Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Finance and under whose portfolio the bank falls, a cheque of EC$250,000 which is ten percent of the profit made by the Bank in the year ending December 31, 2010.

According to Mr Newton, the Bank made a profit of EC$2.5 million in 2010 and the legislation speaks of paying of a dividend, but which was never effected. He told the Prime Minister that the cheque of EC$250,000 represented the payment for the first dividend from the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis in response to that provision in the legislation.

Speaking after he received the cheque, the Prime Minister said that the payment of the dividend by the Development Bank to a large extent spoke to the soundness of the Bank and its sustainability since all these years it has made profits. He added that “the profits have (in the past) been ploughed back into the Bank and now it sees it fit to provide a dividend to treasury; to the government; to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The handing over ceremony took place at the Carambola Beach Club, South Friars Bay in St. Kitts during the Bank’s 30th Anniversary Awards Banquet where Prime Minister Douglas was the featured speaker. He said it was a wonderful development in the sense that Government has been investing tremendous amounts of money over the years in the Development Bank.

Development Bank’s General Manager Mr Lenworth Harris (centre) with Prime Minister Right Hon Dr Denzil Douglas (left) and Chief Secretary Mr Joseph Edmeade who is also a past Chairman of the Development Bank, at the 30th Anniversary Awards Banquet held at the Carambola Beach Club.

“The Development Bank has an extremely useful purpose in pursuing the development goals and objectives of the country and especially in areas where the commercial banks have not supported it in the past,” observed the Minister of Finance. “It is therefore good to see that after many years of profits, the bank feels the occasion has been most opportune to give in dividend.”

The Bank’s General Manager Mr Lenworth Harris, in handing over the cheque to Chairman Newton, said that in true Development Bank fashion, it was on Saturday 3rd September 2011, at the meeting of the Board of Directors, where it was decided that a dividend would be paid to the Bank’s sole shareholder. “Based on the performance of the Bank over the last two years and the prospects for the Bank for the coming year the Board decided to declare a dividend of ten percent of the profit for the year ended December 31, 2010 to be paid to its sole shareholder the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Harris.

“This represents a historic achievement for the Bank, becoming the first statutory corporation to pay a dividend to Government.” He also revealed that the Development Bank was the first national institution in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to have had a credit rating done on its operations by the regional credit rating agency CariCris, back in 2009.

“The declaration of this dividend shows quite clearly that the success of any institution depends not on the nature of the ownership, being private or public, but on the quality of the management and the policies instituted,” said the General Manager. Wholly owned by the government, Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis was established by an Act of Parliament NO. 1 of 1981 and opened its doors to the public on May 22, 1981.

It is celebrating its 30th anniversary under the theme ’30 Years of Success: Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis Promoting Total Empowerment Through Economic, Social and National Development’.

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