Turkey may end banks’ dividend freeze - Bloomberg

Turkey could end a ban on banks paying dividends to shareholders as confidence grows in the economic outlook following the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) limited the distribution of dividends as part of efforts to bolster capital ratios during the 2018 currency crisis.

But Bloomberg said the BDDK was considering easing the restrictions as COVID-19 vaccination programmes offer hope for a rapid economic recovery. More than 1 million people in Turkey have received the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine, state-run Andolu agency said on Wednesday.

“Abandoning the dividend freeze on banks would act as a strong catalyst for foreign investors,” Bloomberg cited Akin Tuzun, banking analyst at VTB Capital, as saying.

The move would also be seen as a further reversal of the legacy of Berat Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, who resigned as treasury and finance minister in November, Bloomberg said.