Foreign investments help shareholders as UK dividend growth lags

William Turvill
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The Euro Comes Under Increasing Pressure
Globally, dividends were up 1.2 per cent on an underlying basis (Source: Getty)

The UK is lagging behind other developed markets in terms of dividends, a report out today has found.

UK dividends fell 3.3 per cent on an underlying basis in the second quarter of 2016, according to the Henderson Global Dividend Index.

In addition to the falling value of the pound, steep cuts from Standard Chartered, Anglo American, Barclays and Wm Morrison hit the UK performance.

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On a headline basis, the UK’s $33.7bn (£25.8bn) was up 7.7 per cent year-on-year, with special dividends from GlaxoSmithKline and Intercontinental Hotels helping.

The report said that, with the value of the pound falling, UK investors would benefit from foreign exposure.

“For UK-based investors, of course, the much weaker pound means dividend income coming from abroad is suddenly worth a lot more,” said Alex Crooke, head of global equity income at Henderson Global Investors.

“Looking globally for income has not only provided UK investors with the opportunity to invest from a larger selection of companies with faster growing dividends than the UK can muster at present, it has also protected them in the short term from the impact of the Brexit vote.”

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Global dividends rose 1.2 per cent on an underlying basis during the quarter to $421.6bn. This was slower than the 3.1 per cent growth in the first quarter.

Across Europe as a whole, underlying growth was 4.1 per cent to $140.2bn. In the US, underlying growth of 4.6 per cent was the slowest since 2013.

Crooke said: “The shifting fortunes of different parts of the world highlight the value of taking a global approach to income investing. As the US engine of global dividends is slowing down, so Europe is showing encouraging growth.”