Our financial strength and resilience are among the most important reasons why customers and investors put their trust in us. We have given careful consideration to the statements issued by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) over the recent days with respect to dividend payments and share buy-backs. While it can be expected that recent events will have an impact on us, our financial position remains very strong.
Management is also cognizant of the fact that many of our 650,000 retail shareholders as well as many pension funds and other institutional investors rely on our dividend as an important part of their income. Therefore, after having considered and weighed up all arguments, the Board of Management has decided to confirm its intention to propose a dividend of EUR 9.60 per share for the financial year 2019 to this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Nevertheless, in light of the current situation the Board of Management has decided to suspend the second EUR 750mn tranche of our ongoing share buy-back program. We will consider the appropriateness of this tranche when the financial and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic starts to become clearer.
To ensure the wellbeing of shareholders and employees, based on the recent federal COVID-19 laws dated March 27, 2020, the AGM will be held as a purely virtual meeting without physical presence of shareholders or their representatives on the originally scheduled date May 6, 2020. The prior convocation of the physical AGM, that became effective by its publication in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger) on March 19, 2020, has been cancelled and a new convocation of the virtual AGM will be announced in the Federal Gazette by April 14, 2020, at the latest.
Please refer to our website for further information on the AGM as well as crisis-related information: