Fall of global dividends in 2016 in contrast to Europe’s increase
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    Fall of global dividends in 2016 in contrast to Europe’s increase

    Overall dividends paid to shareholders worldwide fell during 2016. They suffered a particularly strong slowdown in the US. This is per a study by Henderson Global Investors (“HGI”), the investment company, which however highlights an acceleration in Europe.

    Global dividends picked up by 0.1% to reach 1,154.5 billion dollars last year, compared to 1,152.7 billion dollars. This is stated in the study published today (Monday). It analyses dividends paid by the leading 1,200 companies, in terms of market capitalisation as at December 31st.

    Per Alex Crooke, the Dividend Specialist at Henderson Global Investors, “economic growth perspectives appear more encouraging for 2017.”

    In the U.S. “which is roughly two-fifths of the global supply,” dividends have reached 412.5 billion dollars or an increase of 4.1% “which contrasts to the two increases recorded in 2014 and 2015,” the report details. “The sluggish earnings growth, with the accent placed on strengthening balance sheets and the weakness within the energy sector explains” the downturn.

    Europe, excluding the United Kingdom, posted robust growth of 4.3% at 219.6 billion dollars. There were, however, “significant disparities” between countries. France again landed the title of the “largest dividend payer” with an increase of 11.8% to 54.3 billion dollars.

    In Asia, China’s dividends reduced for the second year running ending the year at 28.4 billion dollars (down by 13.4%), whilst in Japan the strong yen ensured a significant hike of 24.4% to 65.1 billion. “The dividends registering the highest growth were in public services, health and technology.” Henderson’s report states that energy and the mining sector suffered falls in dividend payments.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times