Dividends paid out by publicly listed companies reached P402.18 billion last year, up 17.3 percent from the P342.88 billion declared in 2020, according to latest data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
Moving forward, PSE president Ramon Monzon said the PSE would introduce a Dividend Yield Index in the first semester to showcase companies that provide high dividends.
“With around 40 percent of publicly listed companies giving out dividends to their common shareholders, we deemed it necessary to showcase companies that provide high dividend income to investors by coming up with a Dividend Yield Index,” he said.
Monzon said the gradual reopening of the local economy allowed companies to generate better income, which resulted in bigger dividends for shareholders.
“We hope that earnings growth among publicly listed companies continues to improve to ensure steady dividend income for stock market investors,” Monzon said.
The dividend payout for 2021 translates to dividend yields of 2.58 percent for 2021 and 2.5 percent in 2020.
This compares to a dividend yield of 1.16 percent in India, 1.29 percent in Japan and 3.37 percent in the United Kingdom, according to data from SIblis Research.
For PSEi companies, the cash dividends paid by 28 of the 30 main index members last year amounted to P157.58 billion, giving common shareholders a 1.72 percent dividend yield.
In 2020, 29 PSEi constituents distributed P157.05 billion in cash dividends, providing a dividend yield of 1.76 percent.
Across the six sectors in the PSE, financials had the largest dividend payout at P187.55 billion.
Among the listed companies that paid dividends were real estate investment trusts (REITs), namely, AREIT Inc., DDMP REIT Inc., Filinvest REIT Corp., RL Commercial REIT Inc., and MREIT Inc.
These REITs have an aggregate cash dividend payout of P5.77 billion, resulting in a 2.16 percent dividend yield, even as three of the five REITs were only listed for an average of four months.
REITs are a new asset class that have allowed investors to participate in property assets just by buying into the companies.
“REITs have become a preferred asset class among investors because of its dividend mandate. With more REITs expected to list this year, including non-property REITs, investors will have a wider selection of companies that can provide passive income,” Monzon said.
According to the PSE, 108 out of 276 listed companies declared dividends last year compared with 105 of 271 the year before.