Sberbank sets Russia's record in dividends
The supervisory board of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank has recommended paying 361.4 billion rubles ($5.62 billion) in dividends for 2018, CEO German Gref said.
The dividend payment will account for 43.5% of the bank’s net profit calculated under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The record date is June 13.
In 2018, the bank paid 12 rubles per share, or a total of 271.043 billion rubles, in dividends for 2017, which accounted for 36.2% of the bank’s IFRS net profit for the year.
The central bank owns a 50% plus one share stake in Sberbank, non-Russian resident companies 45.64%, resident companies 1.52%, and private investors 2.84%.
Head of the State Duma’s Committee for Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the increasing role of dividends in Sberbank's profit structure makes it attractive for investors to it, although it is not an undoubtedly positive trend.
"It would be much more efficient to use profits to increase the bank’s capital and expand its credit process. From the point of view of Sberbank’s investors, this is a very attractive number, and those who have invested in Sberbank won fair amount of money," he said.
"Accordingly, investors will be happy to invest in Sberbank shares, which will encourage interest in it, including from abroad, despite all the talk about Western sanctions against state banks. Sberbank’s profits are the case when an opportunity to earn good money outweighs any risks for foreign investors," Anatoly Aksakov stressed.
At the same time, the deputy expressed doubt that the main beneficiary of Sberbank - the government - will try to increase its share in the bank’s capital in order to increase payments to the state budget. "I don't think it will be happen, including because minority shareholders are unlikely to sell shares in such a profitable enterprise. Sberbank shares is one of the sweetest spots in our financial market," he concluded.