Bank of Thailand allows banks to pay interim dividends

Bank of Thailand allows banks to pay interim dividends

Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput speaks during his first briefing on the economy and monetary policy after taking office on October 20, 2020. (Reuters photo)
Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput speaks during his first briefing on the economy and monetary policy after taking office on October 20, 2020. (Reuters photo)

The Bank of Thailand has allowed banks to pay interim dividends as lenders are strong with sufficient capital to withstand the impact of Covid-19 outbreaks, Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said on Thursday.

Banks are allowed to pay interim dividends not exceeding last year's dividend payment rates and up to 50% of first-half net profits of 2021, the governor said on a statement.

The BoT will monitor the situation and banks' financial assistance for their borrowers before deciding lenders' annual dividend payments for 2021, the statement said.

It will also consider whether to allow banks to continue to pay a lowered 0.23% of deposits per annum to the Financial Institutions Development Fund after the end of this year.

However, banks are not allowed to buy back their shares as well as capital instruments before maturity dates, unless they have plans to replace them, it said.

The central bank has also allowed certain smaller firms to delay debt repayments for another six months from June to help them cope with the impact of the country's third and biggest wave of coronavius infections so far.

The BoT said it was ready to implement additional measures as necessary. 

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