Thukten Zangpo   

Of the 18 listed companies with the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan, ten have declared dividends and bonus shares for the year 2023, compared to eleven companies for the year 2022.

Eight companies did not declare dividends and bonus shares.

During the pandemic years, only two companies declared dividends for the financial year 2020, and five companies in 2021.

Dividends are typically paid out of a company’s net profits. A company that consistently pays dividends is likely profitable. Conversely, a company choosing to reinvest most of its profits back into business for growth might offer fewer dividends.

In compliance with the Companies Act of Bhutan 2016, all the listed companies conducted their general meetings by April-end.

The highest dividend was declared by the Bhutan Ferro Alloys Limited (BFAL) with 100 percent, compared to 350 percent for financial year 2022.

If a shareholder has 1,000 shares and at the face value of Nu 10 per share, 100 percent dividend is equivalent to Nu 10 per share, resulting in a payout of Nu 10,000.

The record date for BFAL was set on April 11 and the ex-date was on April 10.

Investors purchasing shares on and after ex-date are not entitled to receive dividends.

Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited (RICBL) declared a 35.24 percent dividend, equivalent to Nu 3.524 per share.

In 2022, the RICBL declared bonus shares in a ratio of 1:7 and 12.6 percent dividend in 2017.

Druk Wang Alloys Limited declared a 30 percent dividend or Nu 3 per share compared to 10 percent for the financial year 2022. The record date was set on May 3 and the ex-date on May 1.

Bhutan Insurance Limited (BIL) declared 21 percent dividend or Nu 2.1 per share for 2023 financial year. The BIL issued a dividend of 20 percent and 1:1 bonus share in 2022. The record date was on April 30 and ex-date on April 29.

At the same time, the Bhutan National Bank Limited (BNBL) and Druk PNB Bank Limited (DPNBL) declared a dividend of 15.4 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The BNBL dividend is equivalent to Nu 1.54 per share and Nu 1.5 per share for DPNBL.

The record date for BNBL was set on April 11 and the ex-date on April 10, and DPNBL’’s record date was on April 30 and the ex-date on April 29.

For 2022, BNBL declared a dividend of 13.8 percent and bonus shares in the ratio of 1:4, and DPNBL declared a dividend of 15 percent in 2022, 15 percent and 12 percent in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

GIC-Bhutan Reinsurance Company Ltd. (GBRL) and Kuensel Corporation Ltd. (KCL) declared dividends of 10 percent and 5 percent respectively for 2023, equivalent to Nu 1 per share for GBRL and Nu 0.50 per share for KCL. GBRL declared a dividend of 6.95 percent for 2022.

T-Bank Limited (TBL) and State Trading Corporation of Bhutan Limited (STCBL) did not declare any dividend. Instead, TBL opted for a 1:5 bonus share issuance, while STCBL issued 1:2 bonus shares.

That means for every 5 shares the shareholders own, the TBL will offer one share and for every 2 shares, STCBL will offer one share.

For 2022, T-Bank declared a dividend of 9 percent and bonus shares of 1:10, and STCBL declared a dividend of 25 percent.

The eight companies that did not declare dividends are Bhutan Board Products Limited, Bhutan Carbides and Chemicals Limited, Bhutan Polymers Limited, Bhutan Tourism Corporation Limited, Penden Cement Authority Limited, Sherza Ventures Limited, Druk Ferro Alloys Limited, and Dungsum Polymers Limited.

The bonus shares would be automatically credited to shareholders’ accounts through the securities exchange system, while the companies will credit the dividend amount after updated shareholders’ lists are submitted.

Shareholders have to verify and correct their account details if there are any discrepancies like name of shareholders, citizenship identity card number and banks’ account number. Any unclaimed dividends over the years will also be paid to shareholders.