Poland steps in to halt Enea's proposed dividend cut

WARSAW, March 20 Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:29am EDT

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WARSAW, March 20 (Reuters) - The supervisory board of Polish utility Enea has overruled management to keep the proposed dividend payout on 2012 profits at 0.48 zlotys a share, the same level as in the previous year, the company said on Wednesday.

Management of the state-controlled company had recommended a cut in the 2012 dividend to 157 million zlotys ($48.65 million), down by a quarter from 212 million paid for 2011.

The government has frequently forced state-controlled companies to pay higher dividends to help keep a lid on the country's budget deficit.

Shareholders will now vote on a payout of 0.48 zlotys per share, the same amount paid for 2011 when the government pushed through this higher payout at the annual shareholders meeting.

Poland's No. 3 utility, which like its local peers faces heavy investments to modernise its facilities, is to publish its 2012 results on March 21.

Enea shares were flat at 1025 GMT, slightly underperforming the Warsaw-wide index WIG, which was 0.44 percent up. ($1 = 3.2274 Polish zlotys) ($1 = 3.2274 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Jane Merriman)

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