Some 111 firms listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and Market Alternative Investment (MAI) paid interim dividends of a combined 91.4 billion baht.
Interim dividends of all Thai listed firms are expected to exceed 100 billion baht for the third consecutive year due to their promising growth and high liquidity.
As of yesterday, the companies paying dividends for the first six months of 2013 (excluding property funds) included 93 SET-listed firms, with dividends worth 90.8 billion baht, and 18 MAI-listed firms, with dividends worth 632 million, said Chanitr Charnchainarong, an SET executive vice-president.
The total payout ratio from SET- and MAI-listed companies combined was 62.5%, up from 45.1% a year earlier.
"With strong financial discipline and good capital structure management, Thai listed companies continue their upbeat performance, dating back to the 1997 financial crisis," said Mr Chanitr.
"Listed firms' financial status and liquidity are strong, as their debt-to-equity ratios have been falling the past decade, while their cash-to-asset ratios and interest payment ability have been increasing. These have resulted in rising capital gains and dividends."
In 2000, there was only about 2 billion baht worth of interim dividends.
"Dividend stocks with solid fundamentals should be a good investment option when the market is volatile, with sharp drops in stock prices and sufficient safety margins," he said.
In addition to the interim dividend payments, four companies paid stock dividends for the first half of this year. They were Brooker Group Plc (BROOK), Chonburi Concrete Product Plc (CCP), Charn Issara Development Plc (CI), and WHA Corporation Plc (WHA), for a combined value of 570 million baht.The SET-listed firms that paid the highest dividends, in descending order, were Advanced Info Service Plc (ADVANC), Shin Corporation Plc (INTUCH), PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC), and Siam Cement Plc (SCC), with an aggregate interim dividend of 58.47 billion baht.