World News

Danish banks skip dividends, share repurchases after government spur

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Several Danish lenders say they have suspended share repurchases and dividend plans for 2019, heeding calls by authorities to ensure adequate liquidity in uncertain times due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Following government recommendations announced by the Danish business minister last week, the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority on Monday urged banks not to pay out dividends or buy back shares.

Elsewhere in Europe, the European Central Bank told euro zone lenders last week to skip dividends and share buybacks until at least October.

Denmark’s third largest bank, Jyske Bank <JYSK.CO>, said on Tuesday it would discontinue it remaining buyback program, while Sydbank’s board <SYDB.CO> decided not recommend a dividend payout.

Separately on Monday, Ringkjoebing Landbobank <RILBA.CO> suspended its remaining share buyback program.

However, Denmark’s biggest lender, Danske Bank <DANSKE.CO> has yet to announce whether it will skip dividend payments this year. Last week it said it would reassess its dividend proposal after having postponed its annual general meeting last month.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Susan Fenton)