Israeli banking regulator extends dividend payment policy until end of year
JERUSALEM, Sept. 19 (Reuters) – Israel’s banking regulator extended a temporary provision until the end of the year on Sunday allowing banks to resume paying dividends as the country recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.
In a statement, the Bank of Israel maintained its advice to cap dividends at 30% of 2020 and 2021 profits, saying a higher figure at this time “would not be considered a prudent and conservative definition of capital. “.
At the start of the global pandemic last year, the central bank asked lenders to halt dividend distribution and share buybacks. He gave the green light two months ago for the resumption of limited dividend payments.
Announcing a three-month extension of the dividend policy until December 31, the bank noted “the growing trend of recovery from the COVID-19 crisis” and the “soundness” of the Israeli banking system.
But he said discussions over dividend distributions should always take into account “the level of uncertainty regarding the continuation of the COVID-19 crisis and its future economic implications.”
Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Alexander Smith
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