VODAFONE’S world record dividend payout to investors took global payments to a new high last quarter, as ongoing unrest in Ukraine slashed dividends at Russian firms by more than a half, new research claims.
The telecoms giant made a special $26bn (£14.5bn) payment to investors on the back of its Verizon Wireless deal, taking the total payout globally to investors to $228.4bn – just over a third higher than a year ago.
Stripping out the Vodafone dividend, investor payments rose by their largest margin since the fourth quarter of 2012, around 12 per cent.
However, shareholders in Russian firms suffered from the crisis in eastern Ukraine as Russian companies – which normally make up about two per cent of all dividends paid globally – cut their average dividend from $2.99 a year ago to $1.26.
The most stable dividends are paid by UK and Canadian firms while US dividends rose by a quarter from a year ago, according to the study by Henderson Global Investors.
“In the case of a big economy like Russia, capital flight in the wake of Putin’s military activities in Ukraine, could well put pressure on big companies not to pay large dividends this year,” Henderson’s head of global equity income Alex Crooke said.