Hold your breath shareholders! Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) has declared an interim dividend of 9,000 per cent. Yes, you read it right.

That’s actually Rs 900 per share of Rs 10 each, for the fiscal ending March 2014.

The board of this Tuticorin-headquartered bank took a decision to this effect at a meeting held on January 18.

Bank sources said this would translate into an outgo of Rs 25.6 crore (unchanged from last year).

Highest in the sector

The 9,000 per cent interim dividend is said to be the highest in the banking industry and this is the second year in a row that the bank has declared such a high dividend. It may be recalled that the bank’s board had approved a dividend of Rs 750 per share for 2008-09 and Rs 1,000 per share the following year, but could not make the payment as the annual general meetings for 2009-10 and 2010-11 were not held due to legal issues.

Legal tangles

The AGMs for the subsequent years have also not been held till date.

As a result of the legal tangles, the bank has been compelled to hold back some major decisions, including the plan to go for an initial public offering.

Bank sources said TMB’s shares continue to trade at between Rs 60,000 and Rs 65,000 a share in the informal market.

revathy.lakshminarasimhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on January 21, 2014)
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