Steelmaker SSAB pulls 2019 dividend as coronavirus uncertainty reigns

STOCKHOLM, March 30 (Reuters) - Sweden’s SSAB said late on Sunday it was dropping its dividend for 2019 due to uncertainties over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that came less than a week after the steelmaker had halved its original payout proposal.

“In view of the increased economic uncertainty, the board believes that it is motivated to withdraw the dividend proposal as a precautionary measure and propose that no dividend will be paid for the financial year 2019,” the company said in a statement.

SSAB, one of the largest steel plate producers in the United States though it still generates the majority of its revenue in Europe, said it had a strong balance sheet and added it had also secured a “solid preparedness” in terms of liquidity.

The company said business during the first quarter had largely proceeded as expected. (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)