Meralco widens dividend payment option to stockholders

Published September 16, 2020, 3:11 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has widened the options for its stockholders on how they would want their cash dividend payments settled.

That as the company has announced that it will implement “enhanced dividend payments process” by having a paying agent so its stockholders can just nominate a bank where their cash dividends will be remitted to.

The power firm said it tapped RCBC Stock Transfer of the Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) as the dividend paying agent.

“Shareholders can designate their bank account or opt to open a new RCBC account for the automated crediting of Meralco dividends through the cash dividend direct credit program (CDDCP),” Meralco said.

By designating a dividend paying agent, the utility firm explained that it would be able to provide its stockholders “a better, safer and more efficient dividends delivery method compared to our previous practice of issuing dividend checks and delivering these by courier which poses a risk both to our shareholders and the couriers amidst the ongoing Covid-19 virus pandemic.”

In the last financial reporting of Meralco for its first half results, the company’s board of directors approved the declaration of an interim cash dividend amounting to P4.697 per share.

That dividend payment will be payable to all of its shareholders as of record date of August 20, 2020; and settlement of dividends is slated September 15 this year.

Meralco emphasized if the shareholders will opt to have their their dividend payments channeled through the CDDCP, they are guaranteed that this will be done safely and securely; and they will also experience the convenience of receiving cash dividends without going to the bank to deposit for clearing or to physically encash their checks.

It added that there will be “real time crediting” for those who have RCBC accounts; while for other banks, it will be subject to “credit batching of a designated bank.”

The shareholders shall also be prompted on their dividend payments through an email message that will be sent to them; and there will be no waiting time or risk for them losing their dividend checks due to courier’s failed delivery services.

The utility firm’s dividend payment to shareholders had been based on the first half income that it reported around July this year.

The company posted consolidated core net income of P10.6 billion from January to June this year; while its reported net income was at P6.8 billion.

There had been a downtrend in the company’s financial outcome in the first semester of this year, mainly triggered by the slump in electricity demand especially during the lockdown period from March to May due to the practically stalled economic activities in the country.

Despite those hurdles though, Meralco is among the listed companies in the country that still managed to declare cash dividends – a development essentially beneficial to its stockholders.