Dutch companies quoted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange paid out nearly 18 billion euro in dividends in 2008. The total return was marginally lower than in 2007. Additionally, they acquired 15 billion euro worth of own shares, also less than one year previously. Altogether, share holders received over 33 billion euro.
Dividend payments quoted companies
Lower dividend payments financial sector
In the first half of 2008, financial companies returned 6 billion euro (dividend and acquisition) to their share holders, i.e. 1 billion more than in the same period in 2007. Owing to the financial crisis, purchase programmes and dividend returns were cut back in the latter half of 2008. Share holders received only just over 2.5 billion euro, as against more than 7 billion euro in the same period in 2007. The decrease in 2008 is partly due to the ABN AMRO bank withdrawal from the stock exchange. The bank left the Amsterdam Stock Exchange in April and did not pay dividend in 2008.
Non-financial sector pays out record amount
Share holders of non-financial companies received a record amount in dividends and acquisition of own shares from quoted companies. Non-financial companies paid nearly 25 billion euro to shareholders, as opposed to 23 billion euro in 2007. Dividend payments largely account for the increase. Altogether, companies returned over 12 billion euro in dividends in 2008, compared to 10.7 billion euro in 2007. The amount involved in the acquisition of own shares did not change.
Dividend yield Dutch shares
Dividend yield risen to nearly 4 percent
Despite lower dividend payments, the dividend yield on all Dutch shares has risen to 3.7 percent against 2.7 percent over 2007, because by the end of 2007 the market value was lower than a year ago. In 2008, the financial sector had a dividend rate of 4.5 percent, the non-financial sector of 3.4 percent.
Jos van Heiningen