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Novartis, SAP Among Companies That May Boost Dividends Next Week

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Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG, SAP AG and Ericsson AB are among 13 companies in the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index that may increase dividends next week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Novartis, Europe’s second-biggest drugmaker by sales, will boost its payout to shareholders by 9.1 percent to 2.40 Swiss francs, according to Bloomberg Dividend Forecasts that are based on earnings and options prices. SAP, the largest maker of business-management software, might raise its payment by 20 percent to 72 euro cents, the data show. Ericsson, the biggest maker of wireless equipment, will increase its dividend by 6.7 percent to 2.40 kronor.

Companies in the Stoxx 600 may increase shareholder payouts by 14 percent over the next 12 months, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Per-share earnings are forecast to grow 19 percent in the period.

Investor AB, the Wallenberg family’s publicly traded holding company, Getinge AB, the world’s largest maker of surgical workstations, and Vienna Insurance Group AG are also among the companies that may raise dividends next week.

Nokia Oyj might lower its payout by 50 percent to 20 euro cents, while Banco de Sabadell SA may trim its dividend by 33 percent to 4 euro cents, the data show.

The Stoxx 600 has rallied 2.9 so far this week amid signs the U.S. economy is recovering and amid speculation Europe will contain its sovereign-debt crisis. The gauge dropped 0.1 percent to 256.34 at 2:44 p.m. in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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