Argentine bank Macro to resume dividend payments

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, May 01, 2014

Argentine lender Banco Macro (NYSE: BMA) has agreed to pay a cash dividend of 596bn pesos (US$74.5bn) based on earnings from 2010 and 2011, after surpassing minimum regulatory capital ratios set by the central bank, said financial services firm Raymond James in a note to clients.

In January 2012, the central bank increased the excess regulatory capital ratios required after payment of cash dividends to 75%, from the previous 30%.

Raymond James estimates that Banco Macro's pro-forma regulatory capital is set to fall to around 85% from around 100% as a result of the cash dividend.

So far the bank has not made a decision on cash dividends related to 2012 and 2013 earnings, but has room, from a regulatory standpoint, to distribute an additional 400mn pesos without breaching the 75% limit.

Argentine banks posted strong profits in 2013, putting some lenders in a position to distribute dividends again, said Raymond James.

Banco Santander Rio has received regulatory approval for a 260mn-peso cash dividend. Banco Patagonia and Banco Hipotecario also agreed to distribute 451mn pesos and 42mn pesos in cash dividends, respectively, although both lenders are awaiting regulatory approval for the payouts.

Banco Macro is also awaiting approval from the regulator.

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