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MANILA, Philippines, 16th March, 2011 – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) ranks as the second largest dividend payer in Southeast Asia and the largest dividend payer from a dividend per share basis, according to the results of a recent survey that affirmed the telecom leader as a “benchmark for companies not only in the country but across the Asia Pacific region as well.”
Published in its March 2011 issue, institutional investment magazine Alpha Southeast Asia ranked publicly-listed companies across Southeast Asia in terms of consistent dividend policy. PLDT ranked second in total dividends paid, third in total dividend yield and topped the list as the largest dividend payer on a dividend per share basis.
With total dividend payment for the years 2006 to 2010 amounting to USD 3,657 million, PLDT is second highest in total dividends paid in the region, second to SingTel’s five-year total payout of USD 8,761 million.
In terms of dividend yield, PLDT generated the third best yield with an annual average of 6.9 percent over the five-year period. Thailand’s AIS ranked the highest with an annual average dividend yield of 10.3 percent, followed by Malaysia’s Public Bank with an annual average of 7.1 percent. The company surpassed Singapore’s SingTel and Indonesia’s Telekom which posted an annual average dividend yield of 4.7 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.
On a dividend per share basis, PLDT emerged the largest dividend payer with an annual average of USD 3.90 over the last five years, or ten times higher than second ranking DBS Bank (Singapore) and third ranking PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (Thailand) at USD 0.39 each.
“For those who argue Singapore is rather an exception when it comes to fair shareholder treatment and quality investor relations, PLDT as a Philippine-based company has consistently demonstrated its management commitment to shareholder excellence,” the Alpha report said. “The Philippine-based company is a benchmark for companies not only in the country but across the Asia Pacific region as well.”
At the announcement of its full year earnings recently, the Company declared a final dividend of PhP78 per share and, consistent with its year-end “look back” approach, a special dividend of PhP66 per share. Added to the interim dividend of PhP78 per share paid in September 2010, total dividends for the past year amounted to PhP222 per share, representing a payout of 100% of 2010 core earnings, similar to the payout ratio of the last three years. Total dividend payments for 2010 will total PhP41.4 billion.
“We are immensely pleased to have been able to fulfill our regular dividend commitment. Shareholders can expect PLDT to stand by and maintain its current dividend policy of a committed 70% payout of Core EPS with our ‘look back approach’, despite the need for higher capital expenditures for the two-year period of 2011-2012,” stated Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT Chairman.
PLDT earlier disclosed that the next two years will see accelerated implementation of its technology roadmap to continue the modernization/upgrade of its wireless networks for further improved quality of service and adaptation to a more voice- and data-centric environment. Projects focusing on resiliency and protection and further investments in additional international cable systems will be pursued, it added.
No other Philippine company ranked among the top 10 in each of the three measures of the Alpha Southeast Asia survey. The survey was launched in January 2007, following a number of discussions with a select group of investment professionals both, in Hong Kong and Singapore, “to demonstrate in the simplest terms how companies in the region are just as committed to having a consistent dividend policy that in some cases exceed those at North Asian based companies and present un-refutable evidence how investors have profited,” Alpha magazine said.
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