THE Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) is planning to launch a dividend yield index within the first half of 2022, as more publicly listed companies (PLCs) are now issuing dividends to common shareholders. 

“With around 40% of PLCs giving out dividends to their common shareholders, we deemed it necessary to showcase companies that provide high dividend income to investors by coming up with a Dividend Yield Index,” PSE President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Monzon said in a statement.   

“This thematic index will be one of the new indices that we will be introducing within the semester,” Mr. Monzon added.

The PSE said 108 out of 276 listed companies distributed a total of P402.18 billion in cash dividends in 2021. This was 17.3% higher than the P342.88 billion in dividends issued by 105 firms out of 271 in 2020.

The PLCs’ dividend yield stood at 2.58% in 2021, inching up from 2.50% from the previous year.

“The gradual reopening of the local economy allowed companies to generate better income, which resulted in bigger dividends for shareholders. We hope that earnings growth among PLCs continues to improve to ensure steady dividend income for stock market investors,” Mr. Monzon said.

Mr. Monzon also noted that real estate investment trusts (REITs) “have become a preferred asset class among investors because of its dividend mandate.”

In 2021, AREIT, Inc.; DDMP REIT, Inc.; Filinvest REIT Corp.; RL Commercial REIT, Inc.; and MREIT, Inc. paid out a total of P5.77 billion with a dividend yield of 2.16%. The PSE noted that this was achieved even as three REITs were only listed for an average of four months.

“With more REITs expected to list this year, including non-property REITs, investors will have a wider selection of companies that can provide passive income,” Mr. Monzon said.

The country’s first energy-focused REIT, Citicore Energy REIT Corp., kicked off its offer period last week for its P6.4-billion initial public offering and is expected to list at the main board of the exchange by Feb. 17.   

Meanwhile, Jollibee Foods Corp. and DoubleDragon Properties Corp. are planning to launch an industrial REIT this year through DoubleDragon’s CentralHub Industrial Centers, Inc.    

For the 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi), the cash dividends paid by 28 of its members to common shareholders totaled P157.8 billion with a dividend yield of 1.72% last year, inching up from the P157.05 billion disbursed by 29 firms with a dividend yield of 1.76% in 2020. 

Firms in the financials sector had the largest dividend payout among the PSE’s six sectors, distributing a total of P187.55 billion. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte