MADRID Feb 20 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
Unlike most other Spanish lenders, Bankinter pays all its
dividends in cash and was one of the few to speak out against
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