MTS Announces New Dividend Policy
Under the new dividend policy, management sets a target payout of RUB 25.0 - 26.0 per ordinary MTS share (RUB 50.0 - 52.0 per ADR) per calendar year. The policy guarantees a minimum payout of RUB 20.0 per ordinary MTS share (or RUB 40.0 per ADR). The new policy will cover 2016 - 2018.
Payments will continue to be made on a semi-annual basis. Because the Company has long sought to more equally distribute dividends throughout the year, the Board recommended that an annual general meeting of shareholders ("AGM") approve annual dividends of RUB 14.01 per ordinary MTS share (RUB 28.02 per ADR) or a total of RUB 28.0 bln based on the full-year 2015 financial results. In accordance with the new dividend policy, the Board will review proposals for an interim dividend in Fall 2016.
In addition, the Board has tasked management to consider the advisability of a share repurchase program as an additional way to create further shareholder value. As part of such a program, the Group could allocate up to RUB 30 bln to be spent over the next three years on the repurchase of shares. Such a program would require further approvals by the Board.
The registrar of shareholders, which are entitled to participate in the AGM, will be set for May 6, 2016. In addition, the Board also recommended that the AGM set the record date for shareholders entitled to receive dividends for the 2015 fiscal year for July 5, 2016.