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Unclaimed dividends hit K2 billion, MSE says

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Over K2 billion could be forfeited to the government in unclaimed dividends from listed companies on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE), figures from the local bourse show.

In the past two days, some MSE-listed companies have been publishing names of shareholders with unclaimed dividends.

The firms include Sunbird Tourism plc and Standard Bank plc.

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In an interview on Monday, MSE Chief Executive Officer John Kamanga said according to the the Public Finance Management Act of 2003, the unclaimed funds are supposed to be sent to the government and be deposited under the consolidated fund after the expiry of six or more years.

“There is no notice period but we encourage listed companies to publish names of unclaimed dividends, ideally yearly. Currently, the unclaimed dividends are in excess of K2.0 billion.

“For the number of shareholders, we are still doing the consolidation and we can confirm the exact number once we complete the consolidation,” he said.

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The dividends will, however, keep accumulating to the shareholders account and once found, they will claim them from the Consolidated Fund.

MSE has 16 listed companies that declare dividends to shareholders upon agreement during each company’s annual general meeting.

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