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ELMŰ, ÉMÁSz to propose tapping reserves to pay dividend

Telco

The boards of electricity distributors ELMŰ and ÉMÁSz will propose to shareholders tapping profit reserves to pay dividends at annual general meetings on March 21, the meeting agendas published Friday show.

The board will propose paying a HUF 16.1 billion dividend to ELMŰ shareholders, entirely from profit reserves. The reserves will be further diminished by the company’s after-tax loss of HUF 29.9 billion.

The dividend proposal works out to HUF 2,650 per share.

The board will propose payment of a HUF 9.0 billion dividend to ÉMÁSz shareholders, including HUF 3.9 billion of after-tax profit and HUF 5.1 billion from profit reserves. If approved, shareholders will get HUF 2,950 per share.

Government spokesman András Giró-Szász said earlier that the government had initiated a review of a diversion of funds by utility companies.

The aim of the government is to “prevent this spiriting away of money from presenting an obstacle in any form...to the government’s policy of reducing utility prices,” he said.

Giró-Szász made the comment after a report by business daily Napi Gazdaság that the AGMs of ELMŰ and ÉMÁSZ were being held early this year to ensure dividend is paid before the general election on April 6, a Sunday.

ELMŰ/ÉMÁSz spokesman Norbert Boross dismissed the paper’s suggestion as “market speculation.” Norbert Boross said the annual general meetings had been called for March 21 to ensure that Hungarian shareholders can fulfill their civic duty and vote, rather than attend the meeting.

ELMŰ and ÉMÁSz shareholders held their annual general meetings on April 26 last year, on April 20 in 2012 and on April 14 in 2011; both meetings were on Thursdays.

Germany-based RWE holds 55.25% of ELMŰ and 54.26% of ÉMÁSz. The state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM) owns 15.63% of ELMŰ and 11.66% of ÉMÁSz.

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