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KGHM Jumps on Speculation Poland to Seek ‘High’ Dividend

KGHM Polska Miedz SA, Poland’s sole copper and silver producer, climbed for the first time this week on speculation the government will seek a “high” dividend to help narrow its budget deficit.

The shares advanced as much as 2.8 percent and traded 1.5 percent higher at 157.5 zloty at 2:17 p.m. in Warsaw, heading for the highest close since March 21 and valuing the state-controlled company at 31.8 billion zloty ($9.7 billion).

The government “takes into account a dividend higher than 30 percent” of profit, Deputy Treasury Minister Pawel Tamborski told reporters today. KGHM should pay out at least 30 percent of its 4.87 billion-zloty ($1.5 billion) profit, Parkiet reported on Feb. 18, citing Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski. Only once in the last eight years has the government approved management’s proposal on dividend size. The dividend proposal hasn’t been presented yet.

“The government is under bigger pressure than in past years to get high dividends because of budget needs,” Bartlomiej Kubicki, a Vienna-based analyst at Raiffeisen Centrobank AG, said by e-mail today. “I expect 60 percent of last year’s profit to be paid out.”

The budget gap probably reached about 25 billion zloty in the first quarter of the year, Deputy Finance Minister Hanna Majszczyk said today. That would account for 70 percent of the goverment’s full-year target as the slowing economy cuts tax revenue.

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