In the first six months of 2008, companies quoted on the stock exchange paid out 20 billion euro to their shareholders, approximately 4 percent of their stock market value by the end of 2007. Quoted companies not only paid out dividend, but also bought back more own shares.
Quoted companies paid 12.3 billion euro in dividends, 0.6 billion euro more than in the first six months of 2007. With nearly 4 billion euro, financial companies accounted for nearly one third of the total amount paid in dividends.
Companies have large amounts in cash at their disposal. Apart from investing, they can also decide to buy back their own shares and return cash to their shareholders. In the first six months of 2008, companies bought back part of their own shares from investors. The amount involved was nearly 8 billion euro.
Payments by quoted companies