Asia-Pacific dividends reach record heights

Dividend_growthDividends in the Asia-Pacific ex-Japan region reached new heights, rising 8.3% to a record £229.7 billion in the year to April 2019 in spite of global economic challenges. South Korea, China, and Singapore fared best in terms of underlying growth, with China making the biggest contribution to overall payouts. Malaysia and New Zealand were the only countries in the region to see lower dividends so far this year. In terms of headline growth, the region fell just short of the 9.6% increase seen in the rest of the world, “but only because one-off special dividends were lower year-on-year, particularly in China and Hong Kong, and thanks to a small exchange-rate effect”, according to the latest index from Henderson Far East Income. On an underlying basis, however, dividends in Asia-Pacific grew by 11.3% – three percentage points higher than the rest of the world. According to Henderson Far East Income, payouts in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan have more than tripled since 2009, rising 220.8% by the end of April. Dividends outside the region have more than doubling over the same period, rising by 119.8%, lagging Asia by some way. “Rapid dividend growth comes on top as companies across Asia-Pacific are increasingly adopting a culture of dividend paying,” said Mike Kerley, portfolio manager at Henderson Far East Income. “This is partly because many companies are becoming very large and ever more mature, both features which tend to lead to higher dividend payments anyway as operations become strongly cash generative,” he said. ©2019 funds global asia

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