Hindustan Zinc has announced a one-time interim dividend of ₹13,985 crore for the financial year 2016-17. This takes the total dividend paid by the Vedanta group controlled-company during this financial year to ₹27,157 crore, making it the largest dividend outflow by any company in India in a single financial year.
As the Centre has a 29.5 per cent residual stake in the company, ₹11,259 crore will go to the exchequer. Market watchers said the dividend announcement indicated that the Centre was on track to sell the stake.
“In its meeting held today to consider a second interim dividend, the board of directors has declared a special one-time interim dividend of 1,375 per cent, that is, ₹27.50 on every equity share of ₹2, entailing an outflow of ₹13,985 crore including dividend distribution tax (DDT). The record date for the dividend will be March 30, 2017,” the company said in a statement. Hindustan Zinc is the one of the largest integrated producers of zinc-lead with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum and also a producer of silver.
Agnivesh Agarwal, Chairman, Hindustan Zinc, said, “Since disinvestment by the government in 2002, the cumulative dividends paid by the company, including the current special dividend, is ₹37,517 crore including dividend distribution tax.”
Senior government officials said there was no reason to continue to hold the stake in Hindustan Zinc.
“The government has set a disinvestment target of ₹72,500 crore for the next financial year. This could be part of that plan,” the official said.