The Spanish cash and derivatives exchanges group, Bolsas y Mercados Espa?oles (BME), is to distribute a EUR 50 million interim dividend charged to the 2006 consolidated results. It is equivalent to EUR
0.598 per share, an increase of 105% in respect to the 2005 interim dividend.
The dividend will be paid before the end of January. In the past the interim dividend paid by BME has usually accounted for approximately half the total ordinary dividend.
Over the course of the last 4 years, BME has distributed EUR
459.2 million in ordinary and extraordinary dividends. Its annual payout has been much higher than that of comparable companies in Europe.
The equity turnover posted by the Spanish stock exchange through November reached a record high at over EUR
1 trillion. Fixed income, derivatives and clearing and settlement also posted strong performances.
BME’s net profit in the first 9 months of the year came in at EUR
92.15 million, 22.9% up on the EUR
74.98 million posted during the same period in 2005, thus consolidating the positive earnings trend shown by the Group so far.
“2006 has been an excellent year for the Spanish stock markets, which, allied to BME’s tight cost controls, will allow the company to pass the rewards of good management on to shareholders as well as maintaining a dividend policy that contributes to a satisfactory shareholder remuneration,” says Antonio Zoido, chairman of BME.
Javier Hernani, finance director of BME, says the increased dividend payment fits with the overall strategy. “Our goal, as a public company, is systematically to improve our fundamentals as well as generating sustainable, long-lasting returns,” he says. “One of the best ways of achieving this target is by remunerating shareholders with dividends. The considerable increase approved today is consistent with the company’s financial policy and its working capital requirements.”