MOSCOW Oct 1 A Russian government plan to make
state-owned companies pay higher dividends - doubling payouts
for banks - may not be applied across the board, the central
bank's First Deputy Chairwoman, Ksenia Yudayeva, said on
The Russian government is mulling a plan to require
state-owned companies to pay out 35 percent of their profits by
2016, but no final decision has yet been taken.
"We think that you need to consider the specifics of the
banking sector. In principle there could be a differentiated
approach towards all companies depending on their strategy,"
Yudayeva told reporters on the sidelines of an investor
conference organised by state-controlled VTB.
"Banks use profits for increasing capital and to increase
lending. And this factor of course needs to be taken into
account when establishing dividend policy," she said.
The Finance Ministry's dividend proposal was criticised last
week by German Gref, CEO of Sberbank, which is Russia's other
major state-owned bank. Gref warned that the bank would have to
slow lending growth if required to pay out more.
Sberbank, majority owned by the central bank, paid
shareholders 17 percent of its internationally reported profit
as dividends for 2012, while VTB paid 16.5 percent.