MADRID, March 26 (Reuters) - Spain’s Caixabank will slash its cash dividend for 2019, limit the payout for 2020 and reduce its solvency ratio target to deal with the economic impact of the global coronavirus outbreak, the lender said on Thursday.
The move follows a decision by the euro zone’s biggest bank, fellow Spanish institution Santander, to review its own dividend policy as businesses and households grapple with the impact of the respiratory disease.
More than 4,000 people are known to have died from the illness in Spain, the second-highest death toll of any country in the world after stricken neighbour Italy.
Spain’s third-largest bank said its shareholders can now expect a dividend of 0.07 euros ($0.08) per share on 2019 earnings, compared with 0.15 euros previously planned.
It will limit its cash payout to 30% of reported earnings for 2020, having previously aimed to pay more than 50% of its income, and reduce its CET1 solvency ratio target to 11.5% from the 12% it had previously aimed to reach by 2021.
The bank has also decided to postpone an annual general meeting that had been scheduled to take place on April 2 and 3. It did not say when it expected to choose a new date.
Chief Executive Gonzalo Gortazar will forego his 2020 bonus, echoing a decision by Santander’s top executives to take a 50% pay cut.
$1 = 0.9063 euros Reporting by Isla Binnie and Jesus Aguado; editing by Diane Craft