Norilsk Nickel Set to Pay $2 Billion in 2014 Final Dividends

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OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel may pay about 106 billion rubles ($2 billion) as a final dividend for 2014 on top of an interim payment.

The nickel producer’s board recommended that 670.04 rubles per share be paid as a final dividend, the company said in a statement. That beat the Bloomberg dividend forecast of 359 rubles. The record date is May 25.

The interim payout and final dividend guidance “fully corresponds to the targets set by the Norilsk Nickel strategy,” Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Potanin said in the statement. Management will continue working to improve efficiency of business, he said.

A weaker ruble has benefited Russia’s resource companies, which have costs in the national currency and revenues in dollars or euros. OAO Novolipetsk Steel, Norilsk Nickel and four other of Russia’s largest metals and mining companies together held $8.3 billion in cash and equivalents at the end of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They had about $5.7 billion a year earlier.

The exporters are sharing the wealth with investors as the economy tilts into recession and global demand slows.

The company’s shares reversed losses, trading up 0.9 percent at 9,828.0 rubles as of 3:16 p.m. in Moscow.

Norilsk approved a dividend of 762.34 rubles per share in December, or 120.64 billion rubles in total. Today’s announcement means the company may pay about 227 billion rubles for 2014. The company paid about 74.2 billion rubles for 2013 in interim and final payments.

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