Sun, December 05, 2021


Listed firms tighten dividend purse strings, as Covid-19 erodes profits

Dividends paid by companies listed on the SET50 Index (excluding OR, SCGP and BAM) in 2020 fell 35.15 per cent compared to 2019.

A total of Bt236.94 billion was paid out to shareholders for 2020, down Bt128.47 billion from Bt365.41 billion in 2019, due to Covid-19's impact on the economy.

Listed companies that paid higher dividends were:

B Grimm Power (BGRIM): Bt0.45 per share compared to Bt0.37 in 2019;

Total Access Communication (DTAC): Bt2.12 per share compared to Bt1.61 in 2019;

Krungthai Bank (KTB): Bt0.75 per share compared to Bt0.72 in 2019;

TOA Paint (Thailand) (TOA): Bt0.53 per share compared to Bt0.50 in 2019;

Listed companies that paid the same dividend as in 2019:

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS): Bt0.55 per share;

Bumrungrad Hospital (BH): Bt3.20 per share;

Energy Absolute (EA): Bt0.30 per share;

Electricity Generating (Egco): Bt6.50 per share;

Listed companies that paid lower dividends:

PTT: Bt1 per share compared to Bt2 in 2019;

PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP): Bt4.25 per share compared to Bt6 in 2019;

PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC): Bt1 per share compared to Bt2 in 2019

Intouch Holdings (INTUCH): Bt2.62 per share compared to Bt2.50 in 2019.

Manpong Senanarong, Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) senior executive vice president and head of the issuer and listing division, said listed companies' profit last year had dropped almost 50 per cent due to Covid-19.

"However, some businesses that gained positive sentiment from the Covid-19 outbreak were able to pay high dividends," he said.

He expected listed companies to pay high dividends this year in line with economic recovery and the progress of Covid-19 vaccination.

Wijit Arayapisit, a research department strategist at Maybank Kim Eng Securities, said SET50-listed companies' dividend yield dropped to 2 per cent compared to 3 per cent before Covid-19, citing Bloomberg data.

He added that some listed companies had issued stocks in dividends instead of cash in a bid to deal with uncertainties.

"Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand has instructed commercial banks to pay dividends not more than what was paid in 2019 and not exceeding 50 per cent of their 2020 net profit," he said.

Published : March 08, 2021

By : The Nation