Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

DIVIDEND IS NO LONGER A DIRTY WORD FOR BANKS

Six years after the headlong bank failures and five years after the introduction of the stabilizing currency board arrangement into the country, Bulgarian banks have somewhat get used to distributing dividend to their shareholders.Dividend between 10% and 20% of the nominal share capital is considered a fair achievement in the countries with well-developed bank systems. For 2001 the shareholders of UniCredito Italiano recieved dividends, amounting to 14% of the par value for their stocks. The same rate of dividend was distributed to the shareholders of Barkley's Bank - one of the top British commercial banks. The shareholders of the mightest credit institution in the US - Citybank - will be paid dividends amounting to 18% of the par value of their securities, and the stocks of Bank One - a medium-sized universal bank in the US - will yield a 14% dividend. On that background BULBANK and United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) would had been champions if they were located in the US or in Western Europe by the respective 33% and 31.4% dividends they will pay to their shareholders. However, it should be born in mind that Bulgaria is a country, estimated as quite risky for foreign investments. For that reason, nobody of sound mind would invest money in this country if it did not bring him higher profits than those in his own country. For three years now Bulgarian banks have been making their shareholders happy, distributing part of the profit in dividend. The owners of BULBANK, UBB, Bulgarian Post Bank, SG EXPRESSBANK, BNP-Paribas (Bulgaria), and Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) voted that the above-mentioned credit institutions would distribute dividends for 2001, whose total amount exceeds BGN89MN. Only three financial institutions - BULBANK, UBB, and Bulgarian Post Bank - distributed dividends for 2000, but the total amount was about two times and a half higher - BGN211.43MN.

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