Spain's Bankinter cuts dividend in line with central bank guidance
MADRID Feb 20 (Reuters) - Spain's Bankinter has cut its dividend for 2013, complying with recommendations from the Bank of Spain to cap cash payouts to 25 percent of profits.
Spain's seventh-biggest lender said in a statement to the stock market regulator that it would pay a final dividend of 0.0014 euros per share for 2013, taking the total yearly payout to 0.06 euros ($0.08) per share and in line with the cap.
It paid closer to 0.11 euros per share in dividends against 2012 earnings.
Unlike most other Spanish lenders, Bankinter pays all its dividends in cash and was one of the few to speak out against the guidelines.
Others, including bigger BBVA, have also had to cut 2013 dividends, however.
Spanish banks were encouraged to limit cash dividends in 2013 to help to shore up their capital as they emerge from a property market crash that had pushed some into state bailouts and forced Spain to ask Europe for 41.3 billion euros in aid for ailing lenders in 2012.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is monitoring Spain's progress with financial reforms, is among those pushing for dividend restraint, partly to prevent banks from cutting lending to the economy to boost their capital levels.
The IMF has called for Spain to repeat the cash dividend restriction for 2014 and the Expansion newspaper reported on Thursday that the Bank of Spain recently told banks that some form of cash limit would be extended.
The Bank of Spain declined to comment.
($1 = 0.7271 euros) (Reporting by Robert Hetz and Sarah White; Editing by David Goodman)
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