Dividend Decision Pending
Rusal, a key player in the aluminum industry, has indicated a possibility of not declaring or paying dividends for the first nine months of 2023. This development follows a recommendation by the company’s Management Board, as announced in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Shareholder Dynamics and Previous Requests
The decision comes after Rusal’s largest minority shareholder, Sual Partners, requested an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to discuss the distribution of dividends based on the January-September 2023 results. The company has announced plans to provide detailed information about this recommendation and the proposed shareholders’ meeting to its stakeholders by around 17 November 2023.
Historical Context of Dividend Payments
In a recent annual meeting, the majority of Rusal’s shareholders voted against paying dividends for 2022. However, the company had previously paid an interim dividend of $302 million for the first half of 2022. Rusal’s dividend policy traditionally involves payments amounting to 15% of the company’s adjusted EBITDA, including dividends received from Norilsk Nickel, subject to compliance with loan agreements and other financial covenants.
Market Reaction and Share Prices
Following this announcement, Rusal’s shares experienced a downturn, dropping 2% to RUB 39.26 per share by 17:58 Moscow time. Shortly after, at 18:05 Moscow time, the decrease in share price slightly recovered to a 1.35% drop, trading at 39.52 rubles per share.
Rusal stands as the largest aluminum producer outside China and the sole primary aluminum producer in Russia. The company’s largest shareholder is En+ Group, holding a 56.88% stake, founded by Oleg Deripaska. Sual Partners, in contrast, holds a 25.52% stake in the company.
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