The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is to raise its dividend by 50 per cent on last year, as it continues to fight off a takeover bid from Nasdaq.
The LSE board yesterday dismissed the Nasdaq bid as
“wholly inadequate” and as “substantially” undervaluing the Exchange by ignoring its strong strategic position, earnings and operational momentum.
“Over the last twelve months, records have tumbled in terms of money raised as well as the volume and value of trading on our markets,” says Chris Gibson-Smith, chairman of the LSE. “This is further confirmation of the significant progress we are making towards the realization of our vision to be ‘the world’s capital market.’ For the second time this year, Nasdaq is offering a wholly inadequate price for the company and shareholders should reject the offer.”
The board is now recommending a final year dividend of no less than 12 pence per share – a 50 per cent increase on 2006. Basic earnings per share for the 12 months to 31 December 2006 are expected to be 50.4 pence per share, an increase of 58 per cent. LSE shareholders have until 11 January to finally accept or reject the offer.