In the first three quarters of 2009, companies quoted on the stock exchange paid 8.6 billion euro less in dividends to their shareholders. They also bought back nearly 1 billion euro worth of own shares. The 9.4 billion euro is only one third of the total amount quoted companies paid to their shareholders in the same period last year. The downturn is predominantly due to the economic recession.
Payments by quoted companies
Acquisition of own shares in decline
Most quoted companies no longer buy back their own shares. In the first nine months of 2009, they bought back 786 million euro worth of own shares, as opposed to more than 11 billion euro in the same period last year. Approximately 8.6 billion euro was paid out in dividends over the first three quarters of 2009. A year ago, quoted companies paid out nearly twice as much in dividends.
Financial companies suffered most on account of the recession. Their shareholders received only 200 million euro over the first nine months of 2009, as against 8.5 billion euro in the same period in 2008.
Quoted companies paid over 9 billion euro, i.e. more than 4 percent of their total market value. This percentage is more or less the same as in the preceding years, because exchange rates dropped even more rapidly than payments to shareholders.
Jos van Heiningen